San Miguel Corp. is interested in bidding for British snack and cookie-maker United Biscuits Ltd., Ramon Ang, the president of Philippines’ largest conglomerate by sales, said Wednesday.
Should San Miguel, known globally for its beer brand, make a bid, it would join a host of other potential acquirers. United Biscuits began meeting with potential buyers last week, including U.S. cereal and snack maker Kellogg Co. K -0.19% , and is still considering whether to sell itself or go public. United Biscuits, whose 160-year-old McVitie’s brand includes Jaffa Cakes and Digestives, is the world’s sixth-biggest cookie maker by revenue with sales of 1.10 billion euros in 2013.
Two other people with knowledge of the situation confirmed San Miguel’s interest, but said United Biscuits and the Philippine company haven’t had any formal meetings with each other yet.
The acquisition of United Biscuits would fill a gap in San Miguel food business, which apart from owning the beer of the same name, also produces processed meat, coffee, ice cream, fruit juices and flour though most of that is sold domestically.
San Miguel isn’t a stranger to acquiring food businesses overseas and has bought then eventually sold stakes in National Foods of Australia.
In a recent Wall Street Journal interview, Mr. Ang said San Miguel is always on the lookout for investments that would bolster the company’s earnings.
San Miguel earlier this week agreed to sale a stake in Philippine Airlines for $1 billion to the carrier’s majority shareholder, billionaire Lucio Tan.
By Cris Larano