United Biscuits: Extends Manufacturing into Middle East

Hayes / UK. (ub) United Biscuits (UB), owned by Blackstone and PAI Partners, announced that it has reached an agreement to purchase all the assets of the Rana Confectionery Products business in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The acquisition will be undertaken jointly with UB´s long-standing partner in the Saudi Arabia, Ali Zaid Al-Quraishi + Brothers Company. UB will have a majority stake and will manage the production facility.

Jeff van der Eems, UB´s Chief Executive Officer for international said: «UB has been working hard over the last five years alongside our strategic partners, such as Ali Zaid Al-Quraishi + Brothers Company, to establish McVitie´s as a leading brand in the Middle East. Acquiring a Saudi based manufacturer of branded sweet snacks furthers our ability to serve consumers and customers in the Middle East with a wide range of preferred snacks».

Yousef Al Quraishi, Managing Director of Ali Zaid Al-Quraishi + Brothers Company said: «Ali Zaid Al Quraishi + Brothers Company enjoys a number of long-standing relationships with respected international market leaders and this acquisition marks a new level of partnership with UB. We see this acquisition as an opportunity to bring world-class product quality and manufacturing capability to the Kingdom; in line with our group´s vision».

«We see immense opportunity for local value addition by going beyond the traditional distribution model and to provide Saudi and Middle Eastern consumers locally manufactured sweet snacks, produced at similar quality standards to what they would expect to experience in Europe. By shortening the shipping lead times, the products are in the hands of our customers faster and fresher. For our customers, this would also mean availability of a wider choice of quality snacks locally at attractive price points».

While UB is the market leader for biscuits in the UK and number two in France, Belgium, Holland and the Republic of Ireland it has a rapidly growing presence in the wider international arena. UB currently sells in over 100 countries with nearly 15 percent of its sales coming from markets outside of the UK and North West Europe – up from five percent five years ago. International markets are the largest source of growth for UB.