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Bird Eye Findus Merger On The Cards

Merger and Acquisitions


Permira-owned Birds Eye frozen foods is reported to be looking at rival Findus as a possible takeover target.

The private equity firm is among several parties that has approached CapVest investment group, which owns Findus' parent company the Foodvest Group.

British-based Capvest is understood to be considering selling a minority stake as well as an outright sale.

Although a merger would help both companies battle soaring commodity costs, it could also pose competition questions in the frozen food markets such as the UK, Germany, and Italy.

Foodvest, which also owns Grimsby-based seafood producer Young's, acquired Findus in 2006. The group has a turnover of £1.1 billion with major market positions in the UK, France and across Scandinavia.

Permira bought iglo Birds Eye - whose products include Fish Fingers and a range of frozen meat and vegetables - from Unilever in 2006 for about £1.2 billion.

The deal ended a 63-year association between Unilever and Birds Eye, which operates under the iglo brand in Germany and Austria.

Last year iglo Birds Eye turned over 1,270 euro (£1.0 billion), earning a profit of 195 million euro (£154.8 million). Just under half of its sales were in the UK.

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