LONDON (CNNfn) - United Biscuits issued a "make-your-mind-up" call to Nabisco and Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst Thursday, and said that barring any higher offer it would continue to recommend a cash offer for the company from French food giant Danone.|
Danone (PBN) and a number of financial backers have offered 265 pence a share for United Biscuits, valuing the company at 1.3 billion pounds ($2.1 billion). That trumped an earlier offer from U.S. cookie maker Nabisco (NA), which was made in cooperation for private equity firm Hicks, Muse.
Nabisco and its partner initially offered 245 pence per share, then raised the offer to 254 pence.
The American companies are considering whether to raise their offer, but sources close to the company reported that no decision is likely before next week. Together the companies already own a 29.9 percent stake in United.
Danone and its team are due to post their formal offer to shareholders by the end of this week, at the latest. The Danone offer has the unanimous backing of the United Biscuits board, although United Biscuits [LSE: UBIS] stock was unchanged at 267 pence Thursday.
United put itself up for sale in October, after a prolonged period of lackluster performance.