(Reuters) – Chinese food company Bright Food is in exclusive talks to buy Britain’s United Biscuits for than 2 billion pounds ($3.13 billion), the Sunday Times reported.
Citing sources close to the deal, the newspaper said Shanghai-based Bright Foods had pre-empted a planned auction and was in secret talks to buy the maker of McVitie’s and Twiglets for between 2 billion and 2.5 billion pounds.
Reuters reported in July that United Biscuits’ owners, private equity firms Blackstone and PAI Partners, were considering selling.
Blackstone and Bright Food were not immediately available for comment.
U.S. food group Campbell Soup Co was weighing a bid, a source told Reuters in August.
Bright Food, which recently lost a bidding war for Australian sugar refiner CSR, is being advised in the talks by Rothschild, the Sunday Times said.
(Reporting by Rosalba O’Brien; Editing by Louise Heavens)