US spice brand McCormick has walked away from talks to buy Mr Kipling-maker Premier Foods after examining its books.

It said that, after conducting a due diligence review of Premier’s affairs, it was unable to make an offer the “Premier board would recommend”.

Shares in Premier Foods have fallen by over 25% this morning off the back of the announcement.

Premier has previously turned down offers of 52p, 60p and 65p from McCormick, before letting the US suitor take a look at its books and pension obligations.

Premier has acknowledged McCormick’s announcement, but remained bullish, predicting a “strong future” for an “independent Premier Foods”. It also highlighted the benefit of its co-operation agreement with Japanese noodle firm Nissin, which will see it distribute its products in the UK while seeing the availability of its wares increase in key overseas markets.

In a statement, McCormick said: “McCormick has, after careful consideration, concluded that it would not be able to propose a price that would be recommended by the board of Premier Foods while also delivering appropriate returns for McCormick shareholders. Accordingly, McCormick has withdrawn its proposal to acquire Premier Foods.”

Here is how the story has played out over the last few months:

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Powered by Cincopa Video Hosting for Business solution.New Gallery 2016/4/1321 January - Premier Foods records virtually static 0.1% Q3 sales growth, though sweet treats grew 6.5%originaldate 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AMwidth 610height 34312 Febraury - McCormick makes its first offer for Premier, valuing the company at 52p per shareoriginaldate 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AMwidth 480height 48014 March - McCormick makes a second offer for Premier at 60p per sharecameramake Phase Oneheight 1360orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CS6 originaldate 11/25/2015 9:59:03 PMwidth 1138cameramodel IQ25023 March - Premier Foods publicly announces its rejection of both offers, saying they undervalue the companyoriginaldate 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AMwidth 938height 52830 March - McCormick makes a third offer for Premier at 65p a share, which is rejected the next dayoriginaldate 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AMwidth 1280height 7936 April - Premier reveals it has held "constructive" discussions with McCormickoriginaldate 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AMwidth 276height 27613 April - McCormick walks away from talks with Premier Foods. The end?originaldate 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AMwidth 600height 600