Cookie crumbles in favour of Irish

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: United kingdom, United biscuits

Danone has sold its Irish biscuit operation to the privately-owned Irish food company Fruitfield Foods and not to United Biscuits (UB) as previously...

Danone has sold its Irish biscuit operation to the privately-owned Irish food company Fruitfield Foods and not to United Biscuits (UB) as previously expected.

UB, meanwhile, is buying Jacob's UK operation. Jacob's, which produces sweet and savoury biscuits and snacks and had sales of euro 266m (£178m) in 2003, including euro 70m in Ireland.

Fruitfield -- established through a management buy-in at the former Nestlé Ireland food operation -- has brands such as Chef Sauces, Fruitfield Preserves and Silvermints, but no biscuit products so does not require anti-trust authority agreement for the Danone purchase.

UB investors were rumoured not to be in favour of the acquisition, seeing little room for growth. UB, the UK's biggest biscuit producer, is now waiting competition authority approval for the Jacob's deal.

UB has also just bought Portuguese biscuit producer Triunfo Productos Alimentares and claims to be the number one biscuit manufacturer in Spain and number two in France and the Netherlands.

Benoit Testard, md of UB's Northern Europe region, will take over as md of the company's UK operation after Will Carter announced he was leaving the business.

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