Lion, CapVest, Pamplona in second round for United Biscuits snack unit

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Lion Capital, CapVest and Pamplona Capital are reported to be into a second round of bids for the savoury snacks arm of UK food giant United Biscuits, in a deal that could be worth more than £500m.

The firms are understood to be lining up alongside Germany’s Intersnack for the business, which is being broken off from United Biscuits and sold by owners Blackstone and PAI, Reuters reported.

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, the report said.

The sale is being handled by Credit Suisse, the report added.

The unit is said to be the more attractive part of United Biscuits, and could fetch about nine-times its annual EBITDA of about £60m, the report added, valuing the company at around £540m.

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

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