HAYES, UK: Britain's leading manufacturer of cookies and snacks, United Biscuits, has been acquired by private equity investors PAI Partners of France and America's Blackstone Group. The price topped £1.6 billion ($3.0bn; €2.39bn).

PAI, which already holds 40% of UB, will up its stake to around 50%, while an unspecified tranche of shares is expected to be taken-up by the company's management. The deal will be financed through equity and debt.

In addition to its UK operations, UB also enjoys strong sales in France, Belgium and the Netherlands where its key brands include McVitie's and Jacob's. It owns and operates fifteen manufacturing facilities across the UK and mainland Europe and employs some 9,000 people.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff