Inbev Family Pursues Hula Hoops Bid
A vehicle founded by one of the world's most prominent brewing families has emerged as a surprise contender to buy KP Nuts and other British food brands.
I understand that Verlinvest, whose founder was Frederic de Mevius, a board member of Interbrew for 13 years, is among the parties who this week tabled indicative offers for the snacks arm of United Biscuits (UB).
Verlinvest is little-known in the UK but has backed major consumer brands including Glaceau Vitaminwater, which was sold to Coca-Cola in 2007 for $4.1bn, and Remy-Cointreau, the alcoholic drinks producer.
UB's snacks arm, which also makes products such as Skips and Hula Hoops, has been put up for sale by the company's owners, Blackstone and PAI Partners. They expect the business to fetch in the region of £500m.
Verlinvest is understood to have approached a number of parties about a joint offer for the UB division although it is unclear whether it has secured a partner yet.
Verlinvest was a long-term shareholder in Interbrew, which is now part of AB-Inbev, the world's largest brewer.
Among the other bidders for the UB arm are Intersnack, a German food company, and Clayton Dubilier & Rice, a private equity firm advised by Sir Terry Leahy, former chief executive of Tesco.