German snack group has a taste for Rotherham-based KP Nuts

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United Biscuits has sold its KP Snacks business, including its KP Nuts operation, which employs 150 people in Rotherham.

The sale to Intersnack, based in Dusseldorf, Germany, is due to be completed by the end of March.

Intersnack’s executive chairman Maarten Leerdam stressed the benefits and prospects for growth for both businesses and their employees.

“We are very pleased to be teaming up with KP Snacks. We believe in the power of iconic, local hero brands, and we aim to leverage these strengths for further expansion,” said Mr Leerdam.

An Intersnack spokesman added: “We are attracted to KP Snacks because of the strategic growth possibilities resulting from the combination of KP Snacks and our group.

“Further expansion in the UK market remains a key priority for us and we strongly believe that local production is a key element for success in the development of our regional markets.”

KP Snacks is the number two snack manufacturer in the UK.

In addition to KP Nuts, brands include McCoy’s, Hula Hoops, Space Raiders, Nik Naks, Wheat Crunchies, Skips, Phileas Fogg, Discos, Roysters, Choc Dips, Brannigans, Frisps, KP Crisps, KP Mini Chips and Cheese Footballs.

United Biscuits says it will now concentrate on developing baked biscuit and snack product range.

KP Snacks employs 1,500 people, has annual sales of £280 million and has grown sales and profits consistently during the last five years.

Intersnack’s existing UK operations have sales of around £80 million and its brands include Pom-Bear, Penn State and Percy Dalton’s. The KP acquisition creates a group with 8,000 employees and combined net sales of more than £1.7 billion.