Friday 20 July 2018

Discussions on sale of Batchelors' brand not gone beyond 'exploratory stage'

Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Premier Foods has said this morning 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 sale of its Batchelors' brand to Nissin Foods, the company said that its board had made no changes to its strategy since its strategic update 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.

On Saturday the Times reported that Nissin Foods, which is the biggest shareholder in Premier Foods, was in discussions with the company to buy the Batchelors' brand.

Today 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 sometimes 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 keep under review any options which 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.

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