Premier rejects third takeover bid

Premier Foods has rejected a fresh offer from US spice brand McCormick, which valued the company at 65p per share.

The Mr Kipling owner said yesterday’s offer “continues to undervalue” the company and its future prospects.

However, Premier added its board was prepared to meet McCormick to negotiate a higher offer.

In a statement, the company said: “The board has informed McCormick that it will be expected to provide an improved proposal following these meetings. Generating shareholder value remains the board’s key focus.

“There can be no certainty that any offer will be made, nor the terms on which any such offer might be made.”

The rejection comes in the wake of the news Japanese instant noodle firm Nissin had increased its stake in Premier from 17.27% to 19.90%, as the two companies sought to finalise a relationship agreement.

The agreement would allow Premier to distribute Nissin goods in the UK, while seeing its own products made more widely available in key overseas markets. It has also been suggested that there would be opportunities for the sharing of intellectual property and manufacturing capabilities.

Premier share prices have continued to stay high in the wake of McCormick’s third offer. They were trading at 60.00p at 8:43 this morning (31 March), up from 56.50p before the announcement.

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