At the start of this year, United Biscuits announced a deal to acquire Triunfo Productos, Portugal’s leading biscuit maker. The move reflects the fact that the company’s famous brands, which include McVitie’s, Penguin, Jaffa Cakes, Hula Hoops and McCoys, are no longer just British favourites. Almost half of United Biscuits’ sales to January 2004, an annualised £1,307m, came from continental Europe, whereas in 2001 only 18% came from outside Britain. United Biscuits is owned by a group of private-equity investors that took the company off the stock market in 2000 in a £1,300m deal.
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