United Biscuits ("UB") is a British multinational food manufacturer, makers of McVitie's biscuits, KP Nuts, Hula Hoops, The Real McCoy's crisps, Phileas Fogg snacks, and Jacob's Cream Crackers, and Twiglets.
United Biscuits was formed in 1948 from the merger between McVitie & Price and MacFarlane Lang. The company now manufactures in a number of countries across Europe, such as the Netherlands
. It recently sold its southern European business back to Kraft Foods
, which in turn left the owner syndicate.
Originally listed on the London Stock Exchange, UB was acquired in May 2000 by Finalrealm, a consortium of financial investors, as well as Nabisco Holdings Corporation. As part of the transaction, UB acquired Nabisco's European businesses.
In October 2006, UB announced that it would be sold in its entirety to a consortium made up of the Blackstone Group and PAI Partners. The deal was completed in December 2006.
The company's headquarters
are in Hayes
, Middlesex. The company's main UK distribution centre is at Ashby-de-la-Zouch
, where it also has a factory manufacturing KP Snacks.
The core of the business is in the United Kingdom, where it produces biscuits, crisps and other snacks under a number of brand names including: McVitie's (biscuits), KP (nuts), Hula Hoops (snacks), McCoy's (crisps), Phileas Fogg (crisps), and Jacob's (cream crackers). In 1972, it acquired Carr's of Carlisle, makers of the eponymous Table Water biscuits. It also produces own brand products for supermarkets.
In September 2004 UB bought the UK portion of Groupe Danone's
Jacob's Biscuit Group for £240 million. The move drastically increased its market share in the UK and increasing its estimated turnover to around £1bn.
United Biscuits owned the Wimpy Bar
fast food restaurant chain between 1977 and 1989. It also previously owned the Pizzaland chain and the frozen and chilled food companies Ross
and Young's. UB sold Young's Bluecrest
in 2001, in order to concentrate on the sweet biscuit sector. Ross was sold to H. J. Heinz Company
On 2nd November 2007, United Biscuits issued a recall on its Crawford's Bourbon Cream biscuits. The reason for the recall was the possible presence of small pieces of thin metal wire in the biscuits.
United Biscuits Network
The 'United Biscuits Network
', a radio network serving their factories across the UK which folded in 1979, spawned the career of UK radio presenter Steve Allen
and TV and radio personality Dale Winton
Roger Scott, Adrian Love, Graham Dene, Steve Colman, Allan King, Mike Baker and Peter Young are just a few others of the many Presenters who worked at UBN too.