TEA lovers are all in a stew after PG Tips was sold off to European bankers in a £3.8billion deal.

UK multinational Unilever agreed to sell its Ekaterra tea business — with 34 brands including Lipton, Brooke Bond and Red Label — to private equity firm CVC.

AlamyPG TIps launched in Britain in the 1930s '/ '

This year has seen an unprecedented private equity buying spree in Britain, causing unease among politicians and unions about potential job losses and debt.

Luxembourg-based buyer CVC, which also has offices in London, previously owned F1 and part owns the RAC.

Yesterday its bosses pledged to accelerate growth at their new Rotterdam-based firm, the largest tea manufacturer in the world, operating in 21 countries, with 20,000 employees.

But private equity firms have been heavily criticised for selling off the best bits of firms, leaving what is left in debt.

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PG Tips launched in Britain in the 1930s.

Ekaterra boss John Davison said it “is a strong business with an exciting future ahead”.

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