Market volatility has hindered plans for an IPO

Market volatility has hindered plans for an IPO

Big Bear Group, the UK food maker behind brands like Sugar Puffs cereals and Fox's Glacier Mints, could still attract investors should it revive plans for an IPO.

In January, the company announced proposals to list on London's AIM market but the volatility in equity markets has forced the business to wait for conditions to improve.

In recent weeks, there have been some signs of an upturn in investor confidence, with the successful flotation of Danish food ingredients group Chr Hansen and heightened speculation of an imminent listing from online retailer Ocado in the UK.

A spokesman for Big Bear said the company would reignite its plans for an IPO "when the time is right" and insisted external factors had been behind the decision to wait.

"It was market-driven, not company-driven," the spokesman told just-food today (11 June). "If you see a significant improvement in the second half of the year, it would not be unreasonable to think they would look at it again."

Big Bear says its sales grew almost four-fold between its fiscal 2003/04 year and fiscal 2008/09, when turnover stood at GBP53m (US$77.8m). Over the same period, operating profit rose from GBP1.1m to GBP8m.

"The company ticks all the boxes investors are looking for, with great brands, great management and very moderate gearing," the spokesman said.