United Biscuits (UB) owner Yildiz Holdings has combined its global biscuits and confectionery businesses to form a new company worth £3.57bn ($5.2bn).

UB (which owns brands including Jacob’s and McVitie’s), Godiva Chocolatier, Ulker (one of the main cookie and confectionery brands in Turkey and the Middle East) and DeMet’s Candy Company, have been united to form a single separate firm, Pladis.

The new company, which combines 350 years of experience and employs 26,000 people with 36 factories in 13 countries, anticipates being publicly listed on the London Stock Exchange by 2020 and will operate on a regional basis, with most manufacturing and commercial decisions made locally.

Each brand will retain its own identity, but benefit from shared research and development capabilities providing a breeding ground for innovation, according to Cem Karakas, Pladis chief executive officer and Yildiz executive deputy chairman.

Karakas said: “We have significant growth ambitions for Pladis, with the aim to outperform the category standard year-on-year.

“This is supported by our capital position and the strength of our manufacturing as one of only two companies in the world that produce such a broad range of biscuits and confectionery. As one global family, we can be more agile, allowing us to innovate around our products and develop more brand synergies - which are already benefiting our business.”