United Biscuits has sold its KP Snacks business to Intersnack in a deal believed to be worth between £400m and £500m.

In a joint announcement this morning (5 December), the biscuit manufacturer said the two companies had signed an agreement for the County Durham-based firm to acquire the snacks business for an undisclosed sum.

The transaction is expected to be complete during the first quarter of 2013.

The move means Intersnack will acquire such brands as McCoy’s, Hula Hoops, KP Nuts and Skips, as well as Phileas Fogg, Space Raiders, Nik Naks and Wheat Crunchies. In addition, the transaction includes KP’s UK manufacturing facility and a head office, among other assets.

UB will retain ownership of its baked bagged snack brands manufactured in its biscuit factories, including Mini Cheddars and Twiglets.

David Fish, group non-executive chairman at UB, said: “KP Snacks is an excellent fit into Intersnack’s existing operations. This exciting deal ensures the KP brands continue as part of a major European snacks business, which gives them the scale and support needed in a competitive marketplace. It also allows UB to concentrate its attention solely on continuing to develop and grow its baked biscuit and snack product range.”

Maarten Leerdam, executive chairman, Intersnack, said: “We are very pleased to be teaming up with KP Snacks, which represents a strong and highly complementary fit with the Intersnack family of leading businesses throughout Europe. Intersnack is a strong believer in the power of iconic, local hero brands, and we aim to leverage these strengths for further expansion. As a privately-owned company, we operate our business with a long-term view. As such, the joint know-how of KP Snacks and Intersnack will drive the development of these iconic brands.”

KP Snacks reported an annual turnover of £280m, as well as consistent top- and bottom-line growth over the last five years, and employs approximately 1,500 members of staff.

British Baker reported on UB’s decision to separate the snacks business back in August, after the company steadily denied related rumours. Nick Bunker, formerly president of Kraft Foods UK/Ireland, was appointed as chief executive of KP Snacks in the same month.

Intersnack is a European manufacturer of savoury snacks, producing such brands as Pom-Bear crisps.