Premier Foods confirms talks


Britain's largest food producer Premier Foods said today it was in advanced talks with two potential suitors regarding the sale of its meat-free business, including Quorn.

Sky News reported yesterday that Nestlé, the world's biggest food group, was in talks to buy the division for around £230 million.

Nestlé and Premier Foods declined to comment on the report.

In August, Premier Foods stated it was open minded about disposals, provided they delivered shareholder value and accelerated the reduction of average net debt.

At the end of June the firm had net debt of £1.37 billion.

"Premier Foods confirms that it has received bids from a number of parties, including multinational food groups and private equity firms. Discussions are proceeding and are at an advanced stage with two parties," the company said today.

The firm added there was no guarantee a sale would take place.

Last month Premier Foods confirmed the receipt of approaches for its East Anglian canning operations.

Shares in Premier Foods opened up 2.5 per cent today at 19.02 pence, valuing the business at around £400 million.