Blog: Dean BestLion gets its prey and pounces for Picard

Dean Best | 27 July 2010

Private equity just cannot keep away from the food industry headlines at the moment.

After a week in which the future of yoghurt maker Yoplait and snacks giant United Biscuits (two companies owned by buyout houses) came to the fore, private-equity firm Lion Capital moved to snap up French frozen-food retailer Picard.

The EUR1.5bn deal, which remains subject to competition authority authorisation, is a boost for Lion after being pipped to the post last Monday when private-equity firm Permira bought Findus Italy from Unilever.

As we report today (27 July), Lion is Picard's third successive private-equity owner, so there should be relatively little cost for the buyout house to extract from the business. To generate returns, Lion and Picard is likely to look to expand at home and abroad.

In any case, all these deals suggest two things: one, private equity is attracted to the defensive nature of the food industry, which has proved relatively resilient during the recession and are keen to buy established brands rather than own label.

And two, for private equity firms looking to sell, the recent recovery in the markets means that now could be a good time to get a decent return on their investment.


BLOG

Blue Bell Creameries involved in another safety scare

Blue Bell Creameries is trying to win back the trust of consumers after a fatal listeriosis outbreak last year was linked to its products - but in recent days the US ice cream maker has issued another...

BLOG

Hain Celestial's Orchard House deal waved through

The UK's competition regulator has given the all-clear to Hain Celestial's bid to buy UK food and beverage group Orchard House Foods, nine months after the US group announced the deal....

BLOG

Hershey's unusual move to share sales data

Hershey made an unusual announcement today (20 September), sharing its own sales data for the last four weeks to assuage any possible investor concern over figures released by Nielsen....

BLOG

Are EU nations using Brexit to revisit country of origin labeling?

As the UK starts to ponder what kind of a relationship it wants with the European Union post-Brexit, EU leaders have been lining up to warn that Britain will not be allowed to "cherry pick" deals and ...

just-food homepage



Forgot your password?