LONDON/FRANKFURT Germany's Intersnack group is to buy KP Snacks, Britain's second largest savory snacks maker, from United Biscuits, the companies said on Wednesday.
No financial details were disclosed for the deal, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2013, the two companies said.
KP Snacks, which makes Hula Hoops and KP Nuts, was put up for sale earlier this year by United Biscuits' private equity owners Blackstone and PAI Partners, which were seeking about 500 million pounds for the business.
The deal shows how private equity houses are breaking up their largest companies, bought at the height of the private equity buyouts boom, because they cannot find takers for the whole thing. Blackstone (BX.N) and PAI had tried two years ago to sell the business which they bought in 2006 for 1.6 billion pounds.
The snacks division, which also sells McCoy's and Nik Naks brands, has annual sales of 280 million pounds ($451 million).
Intersnack, which has turnover of about 100 million euros in the UK, said the deal would allow it to grow further and strengthen its position. Intersnack's brands include Pom-Bear potato snacks and Penn State pretzels.
The deal will be financed with Intersnack's shareholder equity and a syndicated loan underwritten by Commerzbank, HSBC Trinkaus & Burkhardt, HSBC and UniCredit.
(Reporting by Simon Meads. Editing by Jane Merriman)