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Last Updated: Friday, 17 June, 2005, 11:39 GMT 12:39 UK
Mr Kipling firm eyes tasty float
A plate of Battenberg cakes
RHM wants investors to see it as an 'exceedingly good' investment
Mr Kipling cakes, Hovis bread and Bisto gravy are heading for the stock market as RHM, the firm behind some of the UK's most famous brands looks to float.

It is owned by private equity group Doughty Hanson, which will retain a holding of about 33%. The listing should value RHM at close to 1.3bn.

The share sale is expected towards the end of July or early August.

RHM plans to raise up to 600m ($1bn), part of which it will use to pay off a chunk of its pension fund deficit.

'Future growth'

The company disappeared from the stock market after it was taken over by engineering firm Tomkins in 1992. Doughty Hanson paid 1.1bn for RHM in 2000.

Listing on the London stock exchange "represents a major milestone in our strategy to transform RHM into the leading UK-focused food company", said chief executive Ian McMahon.

"We believe that we have laid the foundations for sustained future growth in shareholder value and we are confident of maintaining our momentum through the strength of our leading brands," he said.

RHM said that 98% of UK households contain at least one of its products.

Other brands include Sharwoods, Saxa Salt, Paxo stuffing, Robertsons jams and McDougals flour.

The firm, which employs more than 16,000 people across the UK, said annual profits rose 28% to 155m on sales of 1.53bn.

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