The maker of McVitie's biscuits and Jacob's cream crackers is reported to be considering selling the company for approximately £2bn. Private equity firms Blackstone Group LP and PAI Partners, which bought the firm in 2006 for £1.6bn, are thought to have spoken to banks, but have yet to choose an advisor for a possible sale.
The pair could sell UB's snacks and biscuits businesses separately or it could be listed on the stock exchange if offers are not high enough. UB's listed rival Premier Foods has been tipped as a possible buyer for the group in the past, while Kraft could also be interested, after its acquisition of Cadbury earlier in the year.
United Bicuits is the country's biggest snack-maker and saw earnings rise by 13.7% to £223m in 2009 on sales growth of 5% to £1.26bn.