Kellogg CEO planning to meet United Biscuits to discuss deal

October 2
11:20 PM 2014

Cereal maker Kellogg Co's (K.N) chief executive officer is planning to meet with cookies and snacks maker United Biscuits Ltd (IPO-UNI.L) to discuss a possible 2 billion pound ($3.23 billion) offer for the British company, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Kellogg's CEO John Byrant will meet with the company in London, the Journal reported the people as saying.

Kellogg has hired an adviser to evaluate a bid for the maker of McVities Digestive biscuits, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters in August.

United Biscuits' private equity owners, Blackstone Group LP (BX.N) and PAI Partners, have been working on plans for a sale or a public share listing that would take place by the end of the year.

The source also said Blackstone and PAI Partners would opt for a sale over an IPO if an offer was at a "very good price" above 2 billion pounds.

Rival Burton's Biscuits is also working with banks to raise financing for a bid for United Biscuits, banking sources have told Reuters.

Burton's, which was bought by Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan last year, is one of three firms through to the second and final round of bidding, along with Kellogg and Turkish biscuit company Ulker Biskuvi Sanayi (ULKER.IS), and bids are due by Oct. 31, the banking sources said.

Last month, Ulker Biskuvi's owner Yildiz Holding said it was interested in investing in the British snacks producer, while Philippine conglomerate San Miguel Corp (SMC.PS) said it was planning a solo bid.

Other companies linked with United Biscuits include Saudi Arabian food producer Savola Group 2050.SE, Italy's Ferrero, and Chinese private equity firm Hony Capital.

United Biscuits and Kellogg were not immediately available for comment.

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