Foxs Biscuits has been subject of sale talk for some time

Fox's Biscuits has been subject of sale talk for some time

Ranjit Singh Boparan, the owner of 2 Sisters Food Group, has reportedly taken over the UK-based firm's key poultry operations from managing director Andrew McInnes, who has left the business along with commercial director Dan Howell.

Sky News reported Boparan was unhappy with the progress in turning 2 Sisters' poultry operations around under McInnes following a hygiene scandal that hit one of its plants in the English Midlands in the back end of 2017, an episode that continued into 2018 and weighed on profits.

Last year, former Muller executive Ronald Kers was brought in by Boparan to head up 2 Sisters' transformation as chief executive. Meanwhile, to coincide with Kers' appointment, Boparan took a back seat in 2 Sisters by giving up the CEO role and becoming president of his parent company, Boparan Holdings.

According to Sky News, a rift has developed between the two after the new CEO hired some managers from his former employer. 

Kers has presided over the process of disposing of assets falling outside of the poultry sector, with Sky News also reporting the 2 Sisters-owned Fox's Biscuits is set to go up for auction. In September, Sky News said UK-based private-equity firm Towerbrook Capital was in talks to merge Fox's with France-headquartered, European player Biscuit International.

To date, 2 Sisters has offloaded Matthew Walker Christmas puddings, seafood business Donegal Catch, its Goodfella's pizza assets, its red meats business, and the Manton Wood sandwich operations.

A 2 Sisters spokesperson did not deny any of the reported new developments when contacted by just-food, but would only offer the following statement.

"The business has posted very encouraging financial results and this is set to continue as we realise our turnaround plan. However, in order to accelerate this plan our senior leaders have decided to take a more hands-on approach.

"Ranjit and Ronald have one clear goal in mind, which is to continue to deliver improved results for the business. Already our changes have seen improved performance and we look forward to delivering our transformation plan for all stakeholders."