A pack of private equity suitors is circling Princes Foods, the Japanese-owned company which makes dozens of tinned products stocked in British supermarkets.
Sky News understands that Valeo Foods, which is majority-owned by the buyout firm Bain Capital, and Aurelius Group, the corporate carve-out specialist, are among the bidders interested in acquiring Princes.
The company, which is owned by the giant Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi Corporation, produces a range of tinned fish, fruit and ready meals, as well as fruit juices and frozen meals.
Houlihan Lokey, the investment bank, has been appointed to handle the sale, which industry sources said could be valued at £400m or more, depending upon the competitiveness of the auction.
Princes has been owned by Mitsubishi since 1989, but traces its roots back to 1900.
Its sales declined in 2022, but remains one of the UK’s biggest food groups, with revenues of close to £1.5bn in the year to the end of March 2022.
Valeo’s interest in Princes is logical, given its ownership of brands such as Rowse honey and Kettle crisps.
Royal Mail referred to regulator over ‘systemic letter delivery failures’
Natural History Museum named UK’s most visited indoor attraction for second year running
Manchester United takeover: Sheikh Jassim expected to make a second bid for club within 10 days
A number of other private equity firms, including Capvest, Valeo’s former owner, have also been identified as possible bidders for Princes.
One banker suggested a break-up of the company was possible.
A spokesman for Valeo declined to comment, while Aurelius could not be reached.
Leave a Reply