McVitie’s brand owner United Biscuits is expected to float on the stock market this autumn with a value of £1.5bn.

Rumours of a sale have been circulating for months and many companies are believed to have expressed an interest including Kellogg’s, Weetabix the Campbell Soup Co and Chinese investment firm Hony Capital, alongside an unnamed strategic partner.

There has been speculation that that Blackstone and PAI Partners the consortium that acquired United Biscuits in 2006, could be preparing a possible IPO or sale at the end of this year. The private equity owners failed to sell the business in 2010.

A stock market flotation is considered the most likely option by industry experts.

Upon getting in touch, United Biscuits declined to comment on the rumour.