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May 30, 2019

Premier Foods chair Keith Hamill to step down

Premier Foods, the UK manufacturer behind Bisto gravy and Mr Kipling cakes, today (30 May) announced change on its board of directors.

By Dean Best

Premier Foods, the UK manufacturer behind Bisto gravy and Mr Kipling cakes, said today (30 May) chairman Keith Hamill is to step down from the business this summer.

Hamill, who joined Premier in August 2017, is to leave the role at the company’s AGM, which is scheduled for 17 July.

Premier said “a full recruitment process for a permanent chairman is underway”, led by Richard Hodgson, a board member who has been named senior independent director.

The London-listed business, also home to brands including Ambrosia custard and Batchelors noodles, is also looking for a new chief executive after Gavin Darby left the business in January.

CFO Alastair Murray has filled the CEO role on an interim basis. He is leading a review of Premier’s strategy after talking to the company’s largest shareholders, some of which have seats on the manufacturer’s board and have been, at times, critical of the business’ decisions and performance in recent years.

Earlier this month, Premier said the review was ongoing and promised to update the market “as and when that becomes appropriate”.

In April, it was reported that the company had hired bankers at advisory firm d’Angelin & Co. to explore what might amount to asset disposals after it pulled the plug on the sale of its Ambrosia brand.

Last weekend, The Times newspaper said Premier was exploring a sale of the Mr Kipling brand. A company spokesperson declined to comment when contacted by just-food.

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