US food heavyweight Kraft Heinz has reportedly put its Plasmon baby food brand up for sale with initial bids due by the end of next week.
Private-equity firms and food groups are looking at the business, two sources told Reuters, adding that Plasmon could be worth about EUR700m (US$783m). One of the news agency’s sources said PAI Partners was among investors expected to present a preliminary bid, adding that rival private-equity firm Cinven could also be interested.
Reuters said it approached all the parties – Kraft Heinz, PAI Partners, Cinven and JPMorgan, which is believed to be acting as adviser – but all declined to comment.
In April, Reuters had flagged the possibility that Kraft Heinz would offload the Plasmon business, with Italy-based agri-food company Newlat touted as a potential interested party. At the time, just-food asked Kraft Heinz to comment on the speculation but it declined, while a M&A adviser reportedly acting on behalf of Newlat also would not comment.
Kraft Heinz has faced a difficult time of late having reported a huge fourth-quarter loss and a multi-billion dollar writedown on certain assets. And, as a result of a subpoena issued by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the Nasdaq-listed firm restated its financial results this week.
Illinois-based Kraft Heinz is also seeking other assets disposals such as its frozen potato brand Ore-Ida, Maxwell House coffee and dairy business Breakstone’s. It has also appointed a new chief executive to head up the firm from July.