Iglo Group's private-equity parent Permira has confirmed it is to sell the business for EUR2.6bn (US$2.84bn) to newly-established US consumer goods group Nomad Holdings.
Press speculation surrounding the deal emerged earlier today (20 April). As part of the deal, Permira will attain a 9% stake in Nomad. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2015.
Cheryl Potter, head of Permira’s global consumer team, said: "Iglo Group today is the most trusted brand in European frozen food and the fact that it will be the foundational investment in Nomad’s portfolio of market-leading, niche consumer foods companies speaks volumes to the strength of the company, its powerful brands and exciting growth prospects. We are pleased that the Permira funds will remain invested alongside Nomad as the company embarks on the next phase of its journey."
US businessmen Martin Franklin and Noam Gottesman listed Nomad last year to buy a business as part of plans to form a global consumer brands company.
In a statement today, Nomad said: "With this anchor investment in Iglo Group, Nomad seeks to build a portfolio of best-in-class companies and brands within existing, as well as new, categories. In addition to supporting Iglo Group’s organic growth initiatives, Nomad will pursue strategic and complementary acquisitions intended to enhance its consumer offering and deepen its market leadership."
Gottesman added: "What people eat and how and when they eat are constantly evolving, making food one of the most resilient yet dynamic categories in the consumer sector. Iglo Group’s strong brands are clear market leaders in frozen food, and the company’s innovative and customer-centric approach will continue to drive organic growth and superior returns within the industry. The group’s scale, cash-generative profile, and experienced management team make it an ideal foundation for us to build up a world-class, global consumer foods company through a prudent M&A strategy."
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Euromonitor analyst Pinar Hosafci said of the deal: "Birds Eye owner Iglo Group is the leading player in frozen processed food in western Europe commanding 10% of the market as of 2014. This is more than five percentage points above its closest rival Dr Oetker, which acquired McCain Foods’ frozen pizza business in Canada last year.
"The fact that western European countries, such as the UK, Germany and Italy have some of the highest per capita consumption rates of frozen food will help Nomad Foods to generate substantial cash to eventually expand to other markets."
As part of the announcement, Nomad Holdings confirmed Iglo said CEO Elio Leoni Sceti would resign from his role "to pursue another opportunity".