Blog: Takeover talk again swirls around Iceland Foods
Dean Best | 13 December 2010
Iceland Foods, the UK frozen-food retailer, is again at the centre of takeover talks, although one of its major shareholders this afternoon (13 December) tried to douse the speculation.
Over the weekend, it was reported that a consortium of investors - led by the Global Banking Corporation of Bahrain - was in talks with Iceland Foods' two major shareholders, the Icelandic banks Lansbanki and Glitnir.
The reports marked the second round of speculation over Iceland Foods in two months. In October, it was claimed that Malcolm Walker, the retailer's founder and current CEO who owns 24% of the business, wanted to buy out Landsbanki and Glitnir.
However, talking to just-food today, Landsbanki said there had been no discussions over a possible takeover of Iceland Foods. Yet.
The bank did confirm that it wanted to sell its shares and said it had started preparing to put its stake up for sale. Between them, Landsbanki and Glitnir hold a 76% stake in Iceland Foods and it is likely that Landsbanki will control any sale process as it is "by far" the biggest shareholder, a spokesman said.
However, there had been no negotiations, nor, Landsbanki said, had any formal offer been made.
Nevertheless, Iceland Foods is likely to be on the radar of those who want to invest in the UK retail sector.
Iceland Foods' store estate, which is positioned well for the convenience channel, has driven growth, rather than frozen food per se. The retailer's acquisition of over 50 former Woolworths plc stores has also helped the business during the downturn.
For the year to 26 March, Iceland Foods posted a net profit before tax of GBP135m. By contrast, Aldi swung to a loss during the 2009 calendar year.
In sum, then the business has decent prospects. Like-for-like sales may have slowed but its strength in convenience, particularly in a fragile consumer climate, which in 2011 looks unlikely to drastically improve, makes Iceland Foods a good target.
The BBC turned to just-food today for insight on the price dispute between Tesco and Unilever....
Just weeks after buying UK turkey processor Bernard Matthews from administration, food tycoon Ranjit Boparan has struck a similar deal....
Shares in Tyson Foods slumped on Friday, closing down almost 9% after an analyst claimed a lawsuit facing the company could hit the US meat titan....
- Analysis: Tyson's shrewd investment in Beyond Meat
- Price an underlying tension across European FMCG
- Thailand: convenience to continue to thrive
- Danone's Q3 sales - what the analysts say
- Interview: Some Foods on rise of low-FODMAP market
- Bel takes majority stake in MOM Group
- Mars launches Maltesers in the US
- Unilever in continuing price spat with Musgrave
- China milk powder arrests prompt Fonterra "review"
- Nestle lowers outlook on "softer environment"
- The Big 15: Strategies and Priorities of Top Packaged Food Players in Comparison
- Omega-3 in Food and Beverage:Time for a Reboot?
- Packaged Food: Quarterly Statement Q3 2016
- Global Food Packaging: Innovating for Greater Convenience and Quality Image
- Constellation Brands, Inc. (STZ) - Financial and Strategic SWOT Analysis Review