Intersnack Group has been eyeing KP Snacks ever since it went into private equity hands back in 2006, the group’s marketing director said.
Today, Intersnack bought out United Biscuits’ snacks arm for an undisclosed sum, rumored to be close to $600m.
Speaking to BakeryandSnacks.com, Bernd ter Glane, director of marketing for Europe at Intersnack, explained that the buy formed part of the group’s strategy to strengthen its UK business.
“We were looking to extend business and our foothold in the UK,” Ter Glane said.
“The UK is the biggest savory snacks market in Europe and KP Snacks has very iconic brands that we see good potential in…Having a foothold in the biggest market is important.”
“If you want to be in the branded business – building brands from scratch is very difficult and very expensive – so acquisitions are the alternative, and that’s what we’ve done with KP Snacks.”
“We’ve been eyeing the business ever since it went into the hands of private equity,” he said.
The marketing director said McCoy’s, Hula Hoops and KP Nuts were the ‘star’ brands in the portfolio but that focus would be on driving these and others forward in balance.
Intersnack UK currently
Intersnack does have a UK unit that represents about 6% of its overall business. “It’s not the most important management unit we have – Germany is – but if you look at the overall European snacks market, the UK is far more important than Germany in terms of per capita consumption and also the level of innovation in the market,” the marketing director said.
“Following the acquisition we will now enjoy a solid share of 14% of the UK snacks market – and that’s a good number,” he said.
Intersnack’s full-year sales for 2012 were pegged at €1.7bn ($2.2bn) and the acquisition of KP Snacks will bring an additional €330m ($431m) to the business.
This year, the European snacks firm also invested a seven-figure sum across its three UK sites in a bid to boost presence and back in 2009 it bought West Midlands-based Imperial Snack Foods and Percy Daltons factory in Suffolk.
Widening KP Snacks to Europe?
The marketing director said it was too early to say if the KP Snacks brand would be rolled out to wider Europe. “There is no clear picture on that yet.”
He did however acknowledge that, at some point, “there will be cross-fertilization”.