Responding to reports that the world’s second largest food company will acquire part of UK company United Biscuits, Kraft this morning confirmed its plans to expand internationally but refused to comment on any specifics of today’s (10 July) deal.
According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, Kraft intended to take control of brands like Triunfo cookies in Portugal and HobNobs in Spain, currently part of UB’s portfolio. Citing sources close to the deal, the paper rightly predicted a largely non-cash transaction of around US$1.1bn, including Kraft’s assumption of some debt and the return of its 25% in UB back to the company.
Following the completion of a strategic review of business operations conducted by Goldman Sachs, the UK biscuits and snacks manufacturer contacted potential buyers in June, testing the waters for interest in the sale of some or all of its businesses.
Annica Johansson, Kraft’s senior manager of global external communications, told just food that it is company policy not to comment on acquisition rumours. “However,” she continued, “what we can tell you is that as stated in our strategy we will continue to focus on our global cores – biscuits, coffee, cheese & dairy and specialty refreshment beverages. We plan to grow our business through both organic growth and acquisitions.”