UK soup manufacturer Baxters Food Group is understood to be in debt talks with its lenders as part of a refinancing initiative.
The firm, based in Edinburgh, Scotland, confirmed the talks without going into detail about their substance. It described the discussions as “routine”.
News agency Bloomberg reported Baxters, which also makes preserves, pickles and chutneys, has hired advisers from restructuring firm Teneo to negotiate with banks over debts. Just Food has contacted Teneo seeking confirmation.
In a statement sent to Just Food, a Baxters spokesperson said: “We regularly review our advisers and suppliers across all areas of the business including our financial partners and advisers, in this case in relation to our planned routine refinancing.”
Baxters is a family business that can trace its roots back more than 150 years. Its products are sold by the major supermarket chains in the UK.
It also has an operation in Australia and one in the US where it owns Wornick Foods, a supplier to the US military, as well as shelf-stable foods manufacturer Truitt Bros.
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Baxters reported sales of GBP332.2m (US$404.6m) for the 12 months to March 27, 2021, up from GBP308.6m a year earlier. It reported a pre-tax profit of GBP23.2m, up from GBP4.4m. Profit for the period was GBP16.5m, against GBP2.1m the year before.
During that year, the last financial year for which Baxters has filed accounts with the UK’s Companies House, some 63% of the group’s revenues were generated in the US.
The company entered chilled foods in 2020 with the acquisition of fellow UK manufacturer Orexis Fresh Foods.