Business Irish

Thursday 23 March 2017

Greencore warned to find a strategic partner soon

Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

GREENCORE needs to find a strategic partner "sooner rather than later" or risk becoming a takeover target itself, according to analysts.

The sandwich-maker had agreed a deal to merge with the UK's Northern Foods last year but that fell through after the company was outbid by businessman Ranjit Boparan.

At his company's AGM last month, Greencore chief executive Patrick Coveney insisted his group could continue as a standalone entity if the Northern deal failed. Industry watchers are sceptical that is sustainable in the long term.

"Greencore has been in the doldrums for a while now, and while it was right to walk away from Northern, the imperative to do a deal remains," said one analyst. The UK ready meal companies Bakkavor and Uniq have been suggested as possible takeover targets for Greencore but Premier Foods' ready meal division, Brookes Avana, is considered a much more suitable target. Panmure Gordon analyst Damian McNeela described Brookes as "the most attractive proposition" on debt.

Irish Independent

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