Feb 15, 2019

Premier Foods calls off plan to sell Ambrosia custard business

Mr Kipling and Bisto gravy maker Premier Foods has called off a plan to sell its Ambrosia custard business after the chief executive who pulled the trigger on the disposal process stepped down. Gavin Darby, who was head of the heavily indebted food brands group until last month, had hoisted the For Sale sign over Ambrosia in November following pressure by activist investor Oasis to restructure the business. Mr Darby said, while relinquishing his chief executive role, that "The potential Ambrosia sale would be the final piece of the jigsaw to put the company on a good footing". "A number of parties expressed interest in the business, and since the new year the company has been engaged in detailed discussions with a small group of potential buyers," Premier said. The group, which is being led by acting CEO and chief financial officer Alastair Murray, added: "The board has concluded that in the present business climate the process will not result in a satisfactory financial outcome. As a result, these discussions have now concluded."

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