Lehman Brothers Collection - Contemporary Business Archives

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Twentieth-Century Business Archives

United Biscuit Company of America - Lehman Brothers Collection

United Biscuit Company of America

List of Deals

The United Biscuit Company of America was incorporated in Delaware in November 1927. It was created through the merger of the three operating subsidiaries of the United Biscuit Company with five independent biscuit companies as well as a carton and container-manufacturing firm. The new corporation was the third-largest biscuit manufacturing company in the United States, with distribution primarily in the Midwest.

The predecessor firm, United Biscuit Company, was incorporated on November 17, 1925, and operated through three subsidiaries: the Sawyer Biscuit Company of Illinois, the Union Biscuit Company, and the Lakeside Biscuit Company of Ohio. The other companies involved in the merger were the Streitman Biscuit Company of Cincinnati, Felber Biscuit Company of Columbus, the Manchester Biscuit Company of Sioux Fall, South Dakota, the Manchester Biscuit Company of Fargo, North Dakota, and the Merchants Biscuit Company of Denver. The combined assets for all these companies totaled approximately $11.5 million.

In 1928 United Biscuit grew by approximately 30 percent and increased its geographical reach through the acquisition of three companies: Ontario Biscuit Company, which operated plants in Buffalo, New York, and Pittsburgh; Hekman Biscuit Company of Grand Rapids, Michigan; and Quality Biscuit Company of Milwaukee. These acquisitions were made almost entirely through the issuance of stock.

During the late 1920s and into the early 1930s, United Biscuit held steady despite a weakening economy. In 1932 United Biscuit earned $924,208 on gross sales of $14.7 million. Three years later, in 1935, net income was $895,498 million from gross sales of $20.4 million. By 1935, United Biscuit was operating fifteen bakeries in the East and Midwest that employed approximately 4,400.

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