Premier Foods has confirmed its interest in acquiring United Biscuits (UB) - the UK-based maker of Hula Hoops and Jaffa Cakes.

St Albans-based Premier, known for its Branston Pickle and Angel delight brands, said that while it intends to make an offer in the near future, there is no certainty that its offer will result in a transaction.

According to Reuters, Premier has joined forces with private equity group Lion Capital and Netherlands-based NPM Capital to make a bid of around GBP1.7 billion for UB.

If the bid is successful, Premier will acquire the popular UK biscuit unit McVitie’s for somewhere in the region of GBP1.1 billion, while KP snacks will go to Lion, and UB’s northern continental European business will go to NPM.

UB’s Spanish and Portuguese units were recently spun off to Kraft Foods for $1.07 billion (E840 million).

Premier is said to be facing competition from New York-based buy out group Blackstone Capital – which last year acquired Cadbury Schweppes’ European beverage unit – in the battle to acquire the business which produces three of the top five biscuit brands sold in the UK.