Greencore mulls Northern options

GREENCORE is still mulling its options regarding a potential merger with Northern Foods after British food tycoon Ranjit Boparan said a third of the company’s shareholders backed his bid for the firm.

Northern Foods, which makes Fox’s biscuits and Goodfella’s pizza, agreed in January to back a bid worth 73 pence per share from Mr Boparan, valuing the business at around £342 million (€402m), and trumping an all-share offer from Irish food group, Greencore.

Food tycoon Mr Boparan, of the 2 Sisters Food Group, which is based in the West Midlands, yesterday said he now holds or has agreed to acquire 34.4% of Northern Foods’ shares after 23% of Northern’s shareholders accepted his offer.

MR Boparan, which said its offer would remain open until March 16, held a 11.4% stake in the company before Wednesday’s news.

Greencore is seeking a private equity partner to part-fund a higher offer, possibly including a cash element, sources told Reuters last month.

“Greencore confirms it is still considering its options in relation to Northern Foods and a further announcement will be made in due course,” it said yesterday.

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