A series of acquisitions in Britain and overseas has built the firm behind such favourites as Jaffa Cakes, McVitie’s, Hula Hoops and KP Nuts into a business with sales of £1,224m in the year to January 2005. Chief executive Malcolm Ritchie has since acquired the cream-cracker maker Jacob’s from Danone. United Biscuits was taken private in 2000 in a £1.3 billion deal by private-equity backers including Cinven and Montagu, which are rumoured to be seeking an exit this year.
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