Major shareholder accuses Premier Foods of ‘arrogance’

26 April, 2016

A major shareholder has accused Premier Foods of “arrogance” in its handling of US suitor McCormick.

As reported by City A.M., US hedge fund manager Paulson & Co followed up a previous attack on the Mr Kipling-owner’s failure to secure a deal with another singeing attack - this time going as far as saying it would support the idea of the company’s chairman, David Beever, resigning over the matter.

US spice brand McCormick recently made three offers for Premier Foods, at 52p, 60p and 65p respectively, the latter of which valued the company at an enterprise value of £1.5bn. However, Premier Foods rejected all the offers, leading to McCormick walking away from the deal.

A spokesman for Paulson & Co said: “McCormick, after making three offers, understandably decided to withdraw rather than proceed without a recommendation. Now, the shareholders are left with a price of 39p with the same management making the same promises as it did two years ago when it sold stock at 81p on a blended basis.”

It added that Premier’s failure to recommend an offer at a 106% premium on the pre-announcement price was “a record for corporate arrogance” and, on the subject of whether Beever should resign, said: “We have not written a letter asking for his resignation, but would certainly support the idea.”





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