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United Biscuits to axe 157 jobs amid sales speculation

By Oliver Nieburg+

24-Sep-2014

Is UB restructuring ahead of a potenial sale or public flotation?
Is UB restructuring ahead of a potenial sale or public flotation?

UK firm United Biscuits plans to cut up to 157 jobs at its Manchester plant as rumors of a potential sale to Ülker, Kellogg or Burton’s mount.

The company plans to reduce its total workforce of 630 employees at the McVitie’s plant in Manchester by 157.

"United Biscuits announced in early June proposals to restructure our manufacturing operations at our Manchester site. This was part of our ongoing commitment to deliver modern, efficient and competitive operations at the site,” said a company spokesperson.

"Discussions have been held with employees and union representatives, regarding the potential impact to roles at the site and we are still in consultation.”

The spokesperson refused to comment on national media speculation that UB’s joint private equity owners Blackstone and PAI partners are on the cusp of a sale to either Ülker, Kellogg or Burton’s Biscuits. Ferrero and San Miguel Corp are also reported to be interested.

In July, the private equity owners refused to comment on speculation that they were preparing UB for a public flotation.

The job cuts were announced soon after UB said it would up its investment in India by $33m.

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