Private equity firms the Blackstone Group and PAI have acquired United Biscuits in a deal valued in excess of £1.6bn.

However, workers unions were wary of the deal. The T&G union said: “Private equity deals are invariably struck for quick returns. But the T&G's view is that the workforce and their pensions must be taken into account.”

The news came hours after UB announced that it was transferring the production of crisp brands Nik Naks and Wheat Crunchies to its own factories in Ashby-de-la-Zouch and Teesside.