UK food company Premier Foods has sold more shares than expected in its flotation on the stock market and said it could now consider acquisitions.

Shares in the company, which makes Branston Pickle and Typhoo Tea, were trading at 219 pence earlier this morning [Tuesday], up 2% from their issue price, giving the company a market capitalisation of around £540m (US$1.0bn), reported Reuters.

Premier Foods sold new shares worth £118m, resulting in net proceeds of £106m that will be used to reduce debt. US buyout firm Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst sold £232m of shares, around £60m more than expected. As well as reducing debt, one of the aims of the flotation was to reduce the US buyout firm's stake in Premier Foods to less than 50%.

The company said the reduction in debt will enable it to consider further acquisitions of branded food products.