Analysts had long predicted its sale, but many believed it would be snapped up by a private equity buyer, rather than a trade firm.
The deal with Intersnack is expected to be wrapped up during the first quarter of next year and also includes other assets, including KP Snacks UK manufacturing offices and head office.
United Biscuits will retain ownership of its baked bagged snack brands manufactured in its biscuit factories including Mini Cheddars and Twiglets.
KP Snacks has an annual turnover of £280M and employs 1,500 people. This combination of the two companies creates combined net sales of more than £1.7bn and 8,000 employees.
Maarten Leerdam, executive chairman of Intersnack, said he was delighted the firm was able to acquire such iconic brands.
“We are very pleased to be teaming up with KP Snacks, which represents a strong and highly complementary fit with the Intersnack family of leading businesses throughout Europe. Intersnack is a strong believer in the power of iconic, local hero brands, and we aim to leverage these strengths for further expansion.
“As a privately owned company, we operate our business with a long-term view. As such, the joint know-how of KP Snacks and Intersnack will drive the development of these iconic brands.”
David Fish, United Biscuit Group non executive chairman said the deal would ensure KP brands continued as part of a major European Snacks business, which would give it the scale and support needed in a competitive market place.
“It also allows UB to concentrate its attention solely on continuing to develop and grow its baked biscuit and snack product range," he added.
Further expansion in the UK market remains a key priority for Intersnack, which currently accounts for 6% of its revenues.
In the UK, Intersnack has consequently built up its presence through a mix of organic growth and acquisitions. Intersnack UK, with a turnover of £80M is solely focused on savoury snacks, with brands such as Pom-Bear, Penn State and Percy Dalton’s.
“We appreciate the significance of acquiring a part of British heritage and the proposed transaction reflects our goal to accelerate the transformation of Intersnack’s strategic position in the UK. We look forward to working with the existing KP Snacks management team and employees to leverage this opportunity,” added Leerdam.
Expectations of the sale were heightened in September when former Kraft UK president Nick Bunker was appointed chief executive, leading one city analyst to tell FoodManufacture.co.uk that it was “bound to happen”.
KP Snacks – in numbers
- £280M – annual turnover
- 1,500 – employees
- +1.7 – net sales in sterling of the two organisations
- 8,000 – number of employees of the two organisations