News: UK food manufacturer United Biscuits has acquired Saudi Arabia-based Rana Confectionery Products, The Grocer reports. The acquisition comes as part of the company's effort to expand its presence across Middle Eastern markets. United Biscuits will partner with local industry affiliate Ali Zaid Al Quraishi & Brothers but will maintain a majority interest in Rana. The move is intended to boost the regional profile of United Biscuits' McVitie's brand with a view to making it a 'leading brand in the Middle East'.
BMI View: We continue to believe that Saudi Arabia offers one of the best opportunities for new entrants in the Middle East and North Africa region, offering great potential as a result of its burgeoning population, high income per capita and good business environment.