United Biscuits (UB) has announced it is to purchase all the assets of the Rana Confectionery Products business in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The acquisition will be a joint undertaking with UB’s longstanding partner in Saudi Arabia, Ali Zaid Al-Quraishi & Brothers Company. However, UB will own the majority stake in the business and will also manage the production facility.

Jeff van der Eems, chief executive officer for international, at UB, said: “UB has been working hard over the last five years alongside our strategic partners, such as Ali Zaid Al-Quraishi & Brothers Company, to establish McVitie’s as a leading brand in the Middle East.”

Yousef Al Quraishi, managing director of Ali Zaid Al-Quraishi & Brothers Company, said the acquisition marked a new level of partnership with UB. “We see this acquisition as an opportunity to bring world-class product quality and manufacturing capability to the Kingdom, in line with our group’s vision.”

UB said is hasgrown its presence rapidly in the international arena, with almost 15% of its sales coming from markets outside the UK and north-west Europe, up from 5% five years ago.

Rana manufactures branded sweet snacks.