Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

Registered UK Charity (No. 115342)

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 149,686 pages of information and 235,430 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

United Biscuits

From Graces Guide

United Biscuits is a British multinational food manufacturer makers of the BN biscuits, McVitie's biscuits, KP Nuts, Hula Hoops, The Real McCoy's crisps, Phileas Fogg snacks, Jacob's Cream Crackers, and Twiglets

1948 United Biscuits was formed by the merger of McVitie and Price and Macfarlane, Lang and Co.

1962 United Biscuits added to its portfolio with the acquisition of William Crawford and Sons and for the remaining shares in the public company D. S. Crawford (of Edinburgh)[1]

1965 Acquired William MacDonald and Sons (Biscuits) of Glasgow, producer of Munch Mallow, Yo-Yo, Bandit and Penguin biscuits[2]

1967 Acquired Meredith and Drew, a UK crisp manufacturer.

1968 Acquired Kenyon, Son and Craven, a leading UK nut manufacturer.

1972 Acquired Cavenham's British biscuit making businesses, including Carr and Co, Wright's Biscuits and Kemps Biscuits[3]

1974 Acquired Keebler Company, a leading US cookie and cracker manufacturer, subsequently sold to a number of buyers in 1995.

1977 Acquired the Wimpy chain.

1982 Acquired Terry's of York, the confectionery company, subsequently sold to Kraft Suchard in 1993.

1988 Acquired Ross Foods and Youngs[4] (Ross Young's Foodservice) a leader in the UK frozen food sector, giving the company a third leg alongside biscuits and savoury snacks. 60% stake in United Biscuits China, with a further 30% stake bought in 1991.

1988 Acquired Callard and Bowser, Nuttall

1989 Decided to divest its restaurant division; Wimpy was sold to Grand Metropolitan

1990 Acquired Verkade, a leading biscuit and confectionery company in the Netherlands

1991 Investment in three leading European biscuit companies: Fazer Biscuits (Finland), Oxford Biscuits (Denmark) and Gyori Keksz (Hungary). Joint venture also established in Éire

1993 Acquired The Smith's Snackfood Company, Australia's leading snackfood manufacturer incorporating a snacks business in Italy.

1993 Acquired Derwent Valley Foods, the UK owner of the Phileas Fogg snack brand. Further investment in Oxford Biscuits (Denmark) and Gyori Keksz (Hungary) taking investments to 100%.

1993 Sold the Terry's confectionery businesses to Kraft General Foods; Terry's traded as Callard and Bowser, Nuttalls, Smith Kendon, Chocometz, Aura[5]

1994 Further investment in Fazer Biscuits (Finland), taking the investment to 70%, San, a Polish biscuit manufacturer taking investment to 90%, and Nibb-It Snacks, a Dutch snackfood manufacturer.

1995 Acquired The Original Pretzel Company, Australia. Sold Keebler.

1997 Acquisition of the French biscuits business, Biscuiterie Nantaise (BN), from PepsiCo. Inc. in exchange for certain continental European snack operations and the sale to PepsiCo. Inc. of The Smiths Snackfood Company, Australia. UB receives a net consideration of £241 million.

1998 Acquisition of the Continental European Biscuit Business, Delacre, from the Campbell Soup Company for £125m. Delacre has operations in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France and exports to the USA. Meiji McVitie, UB buys out Meiji's 50% stake of the venture to form a new company, UB Japan Ltd.

1999 Merger of UB's Young's seafood business with Legal & General Ventures' Bluecrest to create the largest seafood business in the UK. UB and LGV (and its associates) each hold 44% of equity of the business. Management and other finance providers will hold the balance.

1999 (September) Acquired certain biscuit operations from German confectionery company, Stollwerck. UB receives Stollerck's Hungarian biscuit business and appoints Stollwerck as its sales and distribution agent in Germany.1999(October) Binding agreement reached with HJ Heinz Company for the sale of UB's frozen and chilled food businesses (excluding chilled fish operation) for a price of £190 m payable on completion. Regulatory clearance granted 7th December.

1999 (November) Sale of UB's Grimsby-based chilled fish business to Northern Foods. The operation supplies added-value seafood products to Marks & Spencer and Waitrose.

2000 (April) UB was bought by Finalrealm, a consortium of investors, and reverted to private limited company status.

2004 Acquired the UK and Irish biscuit businesses of Danone including Jacob's and Twiglets[6]

2006 The Southern Europe part of the business was acquired by Kraft; the British arm of the business was subsequently acquired by private equity interests[7]

2015 Revenue of £1.2bn. Employs 7,000 persons worldwide. Brands include McVitie’s, Penguin, go ahead!, McVitie’s Jaffa Cakes, Jacob’s, Jacob’s Cream Crackers, Twiglets, Mini Cheddars and Carr’s. Owned by Yildiz Holding (Turkey). Production at Glasgow, Halifax, Carlisle, Liverpool, Wigston, Harlesden and Manchester. [8]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times May 24, 1962
  2. The Times, January 21, 1965
  3. The Times, Jul 05, 1972
  4. The Times, March 17, 1988
  5. The Times Mar. 4, 1993
  6. The Times, July 24, 2004
  7. The Times, October 26, 2006
  8. United Biscuits web site