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Dealwatch: Freshfields, Taylor Wessing and Linklaters advise on Jaffa Cake manufacturer United Biscuits sale

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Taylor Wessing and Linklaters have won the lead roles advising on the sale of UK-based United Biscuits to Turkey’s largest food and beverage company Yildiz Holding (Yildiz).

The British food manufacturer – which makes McVitie’s biscuits including Jaffa Cakes and Hob Nobs, Penguins, Jacob’s Cream Crackers, and Twiglets – will be acquired from private equity owners Blackstone and PAI Partners by Yildiz.

Yildiz, which is headquartered in Istanbul and owns 65 companies, including Godiva Chocolatier and DeMet’s Candy Company, says the acquisition comes as its pushes to further diversify its business internationally.

Freshfields advised United Biscuits and its principal shareholders Blackstone and PAI Partners, led by corporate partner Sundeep Kapila, while Linklaters corporate partner Nick Garland and his team acted for Yildiz on the deal which is reportedly worth £2bn.

Taylor Wessing private equity specialists Emma Danks and Martin Winter represented United Biscuits management board with support from tax partner Ann Casey. Winter said: ‘It’s a great example of the global market place flourishing in the UK and it has been a real privilege to have been involved.’

With United Biscuits primarily covering Europe and UK, and Yildiz presence predominantly covering North America, the Middle East, North Africa, and China and Japan, together, the two businesses will form the world’s third largest biscuit maker.

Freshfields’ Kapila told Legal Business: ‘It was a great result for all parties concerned. The purchaser is active in emerging markets, mainly in Middle East and Easter European, and United Biscuits is a strong brand in the UK and various Continental markets, together, it is a very strong global brand.’  

Yildiz will work closely with United Biscuits’ management team to drive further growth for the combined business.

Freshfields previously advised the biscuit maker on the £500m sale of its KP Snacks to European snacks manufacturer Intersnack in 2012, which Kapila also led.