* Yildiz says wants to expand United Biscuits
* No financial details disclosed
* Deal is part of Yildiz global strategy (Adds comment from Yildiz chairman, details on advisers)
By Asli Kandemir
ISTANBUL, Nov 3 (Reuters) - Turkey’s largest food group Yildiz Holding has bought UK-based cookies and snacks maker United Biscuits, in a deal it said made it the world’s third-biggest biscuit maker and would help it expand into new markets.
The acquisition of the maker of McVitie’s biscuits, Jaffa Cakes and Jacob’s crackers is the third and largest by the Turkish group in recent years as it strives to become a global name.
United Biscuits’ private equity owners Blackstone Group and PAI Partners confirmed they had agreed the sale and said the deal was expected to close shortly.
“We want to grow United Biscuits to be a global player as part of Yildiz,” said Murat Ulker, chairman of Yildiz Holding.
“This will include enhancing its position in the UK, where Yildiz currently has minimal presence, so we will continue to invest in the UK and Europe,” he said, adding Yildiz would work with United Biscuits’ existing management.
Yildiz bought premium chocolate maker Godiva for $850 million in 2007 and DeMet’s Candy Company, the U.S. maker of Flipz chocolate pretzels and Turtles covered nut clusters, for $221 million last year.
“In the past six years, (after) adding premium chocolate maker Godiva and established U.S. candy maker DeMet’s to its portfolio, Yildiz Holding has taken its largest step towards globalisation with acquiring United Biscuits,” the company said in a statement.
Yildiz - a food and beverages maker which owns Ulker Biskuvi - said it had beaten breakfast cereal maker Kellogg Co and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, which bought Burton’s Biscuit last year, in the United deal.
It gave no financial details.
A source familiar with the matter told Reuters earlier on Monday that United Biscuits’ private equity owners were close to sealing a deal with Yildiz for about over 2 billion pounds ($3 billion), including debt.
Yildiz had said in September that it was interested in investing in the company.
Yildiz was advised by HSBC, United Biscuits by Centerview Partners, and Blackstone and PAI by Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan.
Additional reporting by Martinne Geller in London; Writing by Seda Sezer; Editing by Nick Tattersall, David Holmes and Pravin Char