United Biscuits was founded in 1948 following the merger of two Scottish family businesses — McVitie & Price and MacFarlane Lang. In 1960, United Biscuits added to its portfolio with the acquisition of Crawford's Biscuits and MacDonald's Biscuits. In 2000, UB was bought by Finalrealm, a consortium of investors, and reverted to private limited company status.
A summary of our development since then is given below. (Unless otherwise stated, each represents an acquisition of 100%.)
1967 Meredith & Drew, a UK crisp manufacturer.
1968 Kenyon Son & Craven, a leading UK nut manufacturer.
1974 Keebler Company, a leading US cookie and cracker manufacturer, subsequently sold to a number of buyers in 1995.
1982 Terry's of York, the confectionery company, subsequently sold to Kraft Suchard in 1993.
1988 Ross Young's, a leader in the UK frozen food sector. 60% stake in United Biscuits China, with a further 30% stake bought in 1991.
1990 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 The Smith's Snackfood Company, Australia's leading snackfood manufacturer incorporating a snacks business in Italy. 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%.
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 The Original Pretzel Company, Australia.
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) Finalrealm acquires UB.
2000 (May) Sale of UB Nordic A/S and UB Denmark A/S to Danone.
2000 (May) Sale of UB's TUC and Cheddars brands to Danone (Jacob's). Mini-Cheddars excluded from deal.
2000 (June) Sale of UB Snack Foods SpA and UB Snack Foods GmbH to Danone. This comprises UB's Donauwörth factory in Germany and a commercial office in Italy.
2000 (July) Acquisition of Nabisco’s European, Middle East and North African businesses (EMENA).
2000 (November) Sale of UB Malaysia and UB Singapore to Danone.
2000 (November) Sale of UB Hungary to Danone.
2001 (February) Sale of San, Poland to Danone.
2001 (March) Sale of 44% interest in Young’s Bluecrest Seafood Holdings Limited.
2001 (May) Sale of Fazer, Finland to Danone.
2002 (March) Completion of sale of United Biscuits (China) Limited and its subsidiaries to Nabisco.
2003 (October) Closure of dry mix factory in Tunisia.
2004 (July) New subsidiary company of UBUK opened in Dublin, Ireland - UB Snackfoods Ireland Ltd.
2004 (August) Acquisition of Triunfo Productos Alimentares, SA, Portugal.
2004 (August) Sale of Benelux Snacks business to Roger & Roger.
2004 (September) Acquisition of Jacob's Biscuit Group from Danone.
2006 (February) Acquisition of the brands Nik Naks and Wheat Crunchies from Golden Wonder.
2006 (September) Completion of sale of UB Southern Europe to Kraft Foods Inc.
2006 (December) Sale of Business completed to The Blackstone Group and PAI.
2009 (November) UB acquires a factory in India.
2012 (December) UB announced the sale of the KP Snacks business to Intersnack.