Premier Foods, the struggling food manufacturer, has completed the previously announced sale of its vinegar and sour pickles, including the Sarson's, Hayward's and Dufrais brands to Japanese firm Mizkan.
The business was sold for a cash consideration of £41m on a debt free and cash free basis.
Premier is currently re-focusing its business to centre around eight 'Power Brands', including Hovis, Oxo and Mr Kipling.
The Sarson's and Hayward's brands are the leaders in their respective categories of malt vinegar and pickles in vinegar while Dufrais is the number two brand in speciality vinegar.
The Guardian says: "Premier Foods, the firm behind Bisto, Hovis and Mr Kipling, is sitting on a pensions timebomb that risks wiping up to a quarter off the value of retirement savings of 60,000 past and present workers if the debt-laden food manufacturer were to slip into insolvency, according to a leading pensions expert." Nevertheless, the company has stressed that bankruptcy remains highly unlikely. [25 Apr '13]
Recently resigned Premier Foods Chief Executive Michael Clarke has left a smell of 'spoilt food' behind him after his 18-month tenure. While he did push through a vital restructuring he left the job half done. In fact, the company's very existence is still in question. Its deficit is expected to double when it finishes its triennial pension valuation, to which one must add 900m pounds in debt. Indeed, Premier needs to sell more businesses, or raise cash in a rights issue, or [21 Apr '13]
Debt laden food manufacturer Premier Foods said it expects to make progress in the year ahead, despite persistently challenging markets, as it posted an increase full year underlying trading profit. [21 Feb '13]
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