Reports suggest that the factory, which employs around 500 people, could change hands four year after its owner United Biscuits was acquired by Turkey’s Yildiz for £2bn. Tony McDonough reports
Liverpool’s famous Jacob’s cream cracker and biscuit factory could change hands for the second time in four years as part of a possible £100m deal.
Based in Aintree the plant, which was opened more than a century ago in 1914, employs around 500 people producing hundreds of millions of cream crackers every year, as well as Club biscuits, Twiglets, Jaffa Cakes cake bars, Cheddars and Cracker Crisps.
Jacob’s was started in Waterford in Ireland in 1851 and it’s UK operation became a separate business in 1922. It became part of Associated Biscuits in 1960 and then Nabisco in 1982, followed by Danone, before finally becoming part of United Biscuits in 2004.
Private equity firms Blackstone and PAI acquired United Biscuits for £1.6bn in 2006.
In 2014, United Biscuits was acquired by Turkish group Yildiz for a reported future of £2bn and is run by a division of the business called Pladis, whose other brands include McVitie’s Biscuits.
Now media reports suggest Pladis has hired investment bankers Oppenheimer to find a buyer for the Jacob’s brand with a price tag of £100m. A spokesperson for the company, said: “We do not comment on rumour and speculation.”
The factory will now be gearing itself up for the busy Christmas period during which consumption of snacks such as its cream crackers can easily double. The ovens at the 50-acre site have the capacity to turn out 6,000 cream crackers a minute.