Premier Foods recieves offer for its French bakery business

22 January, 2009

Premier Foods has announced it has received a “firm offer” of Euro50m (£45.1m) for its Martine Spécialités business, the remaining part of its Speciality Baking Group in France.

The offer comes from private equity backed, Financiere Martine SAS, a company controlled by Cerea Capital FCPR, for a cash-free and debt-free consideration of Euro50m. Cerea Capital is a Euro130m Private Equity Fund dedicated to buy-outs and transmissions in food and beverage related sectors.

Premier has said it considers the offer is “acceptable in principle”, and has begun talks with its employees and representatives regarding the proposed deal.The company has also stated the sale of Martine will be used to reduce the Group’s debt.Martine supplies retailer branded frozen patisserie products, predominantly to major multiples in the UK and France, from its factory in Valade, France. It was acquired by Premier in 2007 as part of the acquisition of RHM, and currently employs around 385 people. Last week Premier Foods confirmed that it received an offer for its Le Pain Croustillant and Sofrapain businesses from French company Nutrixo, in its latest trading update. Nutrixo is partly owned by farming co-operatives and partly by its own employees, and already has part-bake specialist Delifrance operating within its group in the UK.The offer is “for a cash consideration of approximately £8m on a cash-free and debt-free basis,” and Premier has stated it has received “a satisfactory consultation opinion” from employee representatives regarding the sale of Sofrapain.Robert Schofield, chief executive of Premier explained: “The proposed disposals of LPC, Sofrapain and Martine are consistent with Premier’s strategic focus on its business in the UK and Republic of Ireland and will assist in reducing group debt with anticipated total proceeds of approximately £50 million.”



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