Irish food company Greencore paid too much for Uniq, according to the chief executive of Samworth Brothers, which had been a rival suitor for the UK sandwich-to-desserts firm.

Samworth CEO Brian STEIN said Greencore paid “a silly price” when it acquired Uniq earlier this year. In July, Greencore tabled an offer of GBP113m for Uniq and the deal was completed last month.

Speaking to just-food, Stein said Samworth, which owns the Ginsters brand and makes a range of private-label products for UK retailers, said the company was in the running for Uniq when it was put for sale in April.

“We were very interested in Uniq when it came up for sale. We put in a bid for Uniq that we thought was a very fair price and we lost out to somebody that was prepared to pay a silly price. We’ll see over time that that was a silly price,” Stein said.

Samworth “constantly” looks at the acquisition opportunities that arise in the market, Stein said. He argued that the UK convenience food sector, which has seen a number of deals in recent years, will see more consolidation following what he called a “very, very challenging” period for manufacturers.

For more of just-food’s interview with Samworth Brothers CEO Brian Stein, click here.