St ALBANS, UK: Acquisitive British firm Premier Foods has pulled out of talks to buy United Biscuits, maker of leading UK brands Jaffa Cakes and Hula Hoops.

Premier, which owns the Branston and Ambrosia brands has failed to make up a £250 million ($469.8m; €370m) shortfall in its £1.7 billion offer, following the withdrawal of equity partner Lion Capital.

The route is now clear for the only other contender, US-headquartered buy-out firm Blackstone Group, which is keen to snap up UB following its failed attempt to acquire Unilever's Birds Eye and Iglo frozen foods business.

Data sourced from Financial Times online; additional content by WARC staff