Batchelors sale talks 'exploratory'
Premier Foods has confirmed that discussions on the sale of its Batchelors portfolio have not gone beyond an "exploratory stage".
Responding to speculation over the weekend concerning a possible £200m (€225m) sale of its Batchelors brand to Japan's Nissin Foods, the company said that its board had made no changes to the company's strategy since its last strategic update, which was delivered with its preliminary results in May last year.
"The board remains focused on our strategic objectives, including that of reducing the ratio of net debt to earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation, and amortisation," Premier Foods said.
Last Saturday it was reported that Nissin Foods, which is the biggest shareholder in Premier Foods, was in discussions with the company to buy the Batchelors brand.
Premier Foods is home to a number of household brands including Bisto and Mr Kipling
Yesterday Premier Foods said that, in line with good corporate governance, it regularly reviews options to deliver value for all its stakeholders, and that such reviews do periodically involve discussions with third parties, including Nissin.
However the food company said that "there is no current situation where discussions have gone beyond an exploratory stage".
The company went on to say that the board continued to review any options that could potentially add value for shareholders and other stakeholders, and accelerate the delivery of the board's strategic objectives, particularly with respect to reducing gearing.