A RAFT of iconic British snack brands, including KP Nuts and Hula Hoops, fell into German hands on Wednesday in a deal thought to be worth more than £500 million.
KP Snacks – which is the UK’s second-largest snack maker and also owns Brannigans, Cheese Footballs and McCoy’s crisps – has been snapped up by Düsseldorf-based Intersnack after being put up for sale by United Biscuits.
Subject to completion next year, KP will join the UK savoury snacks business of Intersnack, which makes Pom-Bear crisps and Penn State pretzels and has a turnoverof €1.5 billion (£1.2bn).
Executive chairman Maarten Leerdam said the company appreciated the “significance of acquiring a part of British heritage”. He added: “Intersnack is a strong believer in the power of iconic, local hero brands, and we aim to leverage these strengths for further expansion.”
Around 1,500 people work for Middlesex-based KP
Snacks at factories in County Durham, Leicestershire and South Yorkshire.
United, which is owned by private equity firms Blackstone and PAI Partners, will retain the baked bagged snacks brands manufactured in its biscuit factories, including Mini Cheddars and Twiglets.
United was bought by the private equity firms for £1.6 billion in 2006 and has been the subject of takeover speculation in recent years.
The firm dates back to 1948, when it was formed from the merger of two Scottish family businesses - McVitie & Price and MacFarlane Lang.