United States food giant Kraft yesterday unveiled a £575 million deal to acquire part of UK-based Jaffa Cake maker United Biscuits.
The American firm, which produces Ritz crackers and Philadelphia cheese, has bought the southern European arm of UB, covering Spain and Portugal.
The move has fuelled spec-ulation that UB is now looking to sell the northern European and UK operations of the business as well.
However, the Hayes-based firm - which also makes Penguin, Hula Hoops and Mini Cheddars - insisted its operations in northern Europe and the UK, which represent 82 per cent of turnover, remained unchanged.
Spokeswoman Sofia Rehman said: "There are a number of strategic options which UB shareholders are now considering."
UB enjoyed a boost in profits during the first quarter of this year - up 26 per cent to £38.8 million.