Ranjit Boparan, owner of UK poultry and fish group Boparan Holdings, has increased his stake in Fox’s biscuits maker Northern Foods.

In a filing today (25 January), Mr Boparan, who on Friday made a GBP342m (US$547.2m) offer for Northern through Boparan Holdings, announced he had taken another 4.8% stake in the company.

Mr Boparan acquired 22.4m ordinary shares at a price of 73p per Northern Foods ordinary share – the level at which he made his offer. He now owns 11.4% of Northern.

Boparan’s offer, which ended months of speculation over whether he would make a bid for Northern, was accepted by the firm.

As a result, Northern’s directors withdrew their support for original plans to merge with Greencore.

Reports have suggested that Greencore is considering whether to submit an improved bid that, while not an all-cash offer, will contain a cash element. The Irish company has, however, refused to comment publicly.

However, Greencore yesterday repeated its belief that a merger with Northern Foods could create annual savings of GBP40m.