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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 May 2006, 07:39 GMT 08:39 UK
Premier admits eyeing bid targets
Branston pickle
Premier is the owner of a number of well-known food brands
Premier Foods, the owner of Branston pickle and Ambrosia custard, has confirmed it is on the look out for potential takeover targets.

Its comments came after a weekend press report said it had formed a consortium to bid for United Biscuits, which makes McVitie's biscuits and Hula Hoops.

Premier said it noted reports of its possible interest in parts of United Biscuits and the Campbell Soup Company.

The firm said it was "evaluating a number of opportunities".

"However, there can be no assurance that any of the opportunities currently under consideration will lead to a transaction," it added.

In March, Campbell Soup said it would consider the sale of its British soup, sauce and stock cube businesses, which includes brands such as Batchelors, Homepride sauces and Fray Bentos.


On Saturday, the Financial Times reported that Premier had formed a consortium with another trade buyer and two private equity firms to bid for United Biscuits (UB).

The paper said that if a bid was successful, the consortium would break up UB, with Premier holding onto its UK biscuits business.

UB is reported to be worth about 2.3bn, including some 1.9bn of debt.

The company was taken private in 2000 by a consortium consisting of US food company Kraft and three private equity firms - Cinven, PAI Partners and MidOcean Partners.

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