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United Biscuits wants to push the McVitie’s brand in the Middle East with the acquisition of a Saudi Arabia-based manufacturer

United Biscuits is to acquire a biscuit manufacturing business in Saudi Arabia as it looks to further establish the McVitie’s brand in the Middle East.

The acquisition of Rana Confectionery Products is being made to bolster UB’s manufacturing capability in the region, the company said today. It will be undertaken jointly with UB’s Middle East partner, Saudi Arabian distribution and manufacturing business Ali Zaid Al-Quraishi & Brothers Company (AZAQ).

Under the deal, UB will have a majority stake in Rana and will manage the production facility.

“UB has been working hard over the last five years alongside our strategic partners, such as AZAQ, to establish McVitie’s as a leading brand in the Middle East,” said UB CEO international Jeff van der Eems.

“Acquiring a Saudi-based manufacturer of branded sweet snacks furthers our ability to serve consumers and customers in the Middle East with a wide range of preferred snacks.”

Yousef Al Quraishi, MD of AZAQ, added: “We see immense opportunity for local value addition by going beyond the traditional distribution model and to provide Saudi and Middle Eastern consumers locally manufactured sweet snacks, produced at similar quality standards to what they would expect to experience in Europe.”

UB said 15% of its sales come from markets outside the UK and North West Europe, adding that international markets are its largest source of growth.