Liverpool Jacobs biscuit factory in £2 billion new owner deal

United Biscuits has been sold by its private equity owners Blackstone and PAI to the Turkey-based Alka foods conglomerate, defeating competition from Kellogg’s and Burton’s.

The Jacobs Cream Cracker factory in Aintree, now part of Yildiz Holdings, has changed hands in the £2 billion deal. The factory employs 900 people and has been a part of the Liverpool business landscape for over a century.

This deal means the end of a peiod of prolonged uncertainty for the factory and its employees, with private equity firms Blackstone and PAI selling off control of United Biscuits to Alka.

Workers at the factory will see no immediate changes to the way the business is run as there will be no changes in management at the United Biscuits parent group. There will be moves to drive growth by taking advantage of Yildiz’s worldwide distribution network throughout North America, the Middle East and North Africa, China and Japan in order to increase sales.

Chairman Murat Ulker said:

“We want to grow United Biscuits to be a global player as part of Yildiz. This will include enhancing its position in the UK, where Yildiz currently has minimal presence, so we will continue to invest in the UK and Europe.

“We are very excited to work with United Biscuits’ strong and experienced management team to achieve our aim of building the world’s leading biscuits business.”

Lional Assant, European Head of Private Equity at Blackstone, added:

“United Biscuits is a great business and has been an excellent investment for us. Yildiz is the best home for the company and will allow UB to fulfil its international growth ambitions.

“I would like to thank United Biscuits’ management team for the way in which they have led the company and wish UB well under new ownership.”


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Words: Peter Cribley

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