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Big Day On Acquisitions Front As Sale Of United Biscuits And Bushmills Are Announced

Published on Nov 3 2014 6:12 PM

Big Day On Acquisitions Front As Sale Of United Biscuits And Bushmills Are Announced

Yesterday saw the announcement of two major FMCG acquisitions, with the news that ownership of United Biscuits, manufacturer of the McVities brand, and Bushmills, part of the Diageo portfolio, are both to change hands.

Private equity funds managed by Blackstone and PAI Partners announced the sale of United Biscuits (UB) to Turkish biscuit manufacturer Yildiz Holding.

Martin Glenn, CEO of United Biscuits, which is the second largest manufactuer of biscuits in Ireland, said that the group “look forward to being part of Yildiz as we continue to fulfil our growth potential both in the UK and abroad, where we are looking to expand our share of the biscuit and snacking markets, and where there is huge potential for all our brands.”

Lionel Assant, European Head of Private Equity at Blackstone, added that the deal means that UB now has the capability “to fulfil its international growth ambitions.” The fee paid for the company is understood to be around €2.5 billion.

Earlier on Monday, Diageo announced it was to offload its Bushmills whiskey brand to Mexican tequila producer Jose Cuervo, as part of a deal to acquire the Tequila Don Julio brand, as well as $408 million (€326 million) in cash.

A spokesperson for Diageo said that the company was confident that Jose Cuervo would “continue to nurture Bushmills in the future.”

“Bushmills Irish Whiskey is a brand built on great history, heritage and passionate people and has been a cherished part of the Diageo family for more than nine years,” said Colin O’Brien, Operations Director, Diageo. “During this time we have invested over £80 million to build capacity, infrastructure and maturing inventory at the Distillery, which has supported the continued growth of the brand.

He added that the deal “represents further progress in Diageo’s strategy to build its presence in the world’s fastest growing markets and to strengthen its global position in tequila.”

Both deals are subject to competition approval.

© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones

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