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Lion backs out of bidding for United Biscuits snacks unit

22 Nov 2012

Consumer-focused private equity firm Lion Capital is reported to have pulled out of the race to buy the savoury snacks division of UK food giant United Biscuits.

CapVest and Pamplona Capital are still interested in bidding for the asset, according to Reuters, which said Japanese snacks group Calbee had also submitted a late expression of interest.

United was reportedly hoping to fetch at least £500m for the snacks division, but it is now expected to fetch less than that, the report added.

Germany’s Intersnack is also still considering a bid for the business, which is being broken off from United Biscuits and sold by owners Blackstone and PAI.

Blackstone and PAI tried to sell United Biscuits two years ago after buying the company in 2006 for £1.6bn, but shelved the auction after bids from parties including China’s Bright Food failed to meet their target price.

Banks are understood to be offering debt packages of up to £300m to finance a potential deal.

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