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Premier Foods cuts debt with Quorn division sale

first_img Premier Foods, the UK’s largest food producer, has agreed to sell its meat-free business for £205m to cut its debt.It has agreed to sell the unit, which includes its range of Quorn vegetarian products and Cauldron meat-free sausages, to Exponent Private Equity and Intermediate Capital Group.But the company, which makes Bisto gravy and Branston pickle, also said it is prepared to make further disposals if the price was right as it reduces a debt pile that had soared to £1.37bn by June last year.“There’s nothing in my portfolio that I’m saying is non-core, for sale, but I am open-minded to disposals,” said Chief Financial Officer Jim Smart in a telephone interview.Premier Foods’ shares rose by 5.68 per cent to 23.61p at 8:53am before falling back to 22.07 by the afternoon.The disposal is designed to help reduce Premier’s debt as a proportion of earnings, but analysts expressed doubt at the choice of disposal.“It (the sale) is positive in that it reduces the debt, the leverage in the business, but you could argue that Quorn and meat-free was one of the growth areas of the business and that they’re having to sell the family silver,” said Shore Capital analyst Darren Shirley.Smart said Premier, which in November confirmed it had also received approaches for its canning operations, was focused on reducing its debt and it could pursue further asset sales if they would help bring it closer to its target debt level.“If there are other people interested in other bits of the business we’re open-minded … but it would have to be full compensation for our shareholders and it would have to be at a ratio which would make some further contribution to reducing that debt-to-earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) ratio.”Analysts at JP Morgan Cazenove said Premier Food’s ability to cut its debt remained a key concern for the market.“Our view remains that if it were to convince the market it can reduce its debt, there could be considerable upside to the shares given the leverage to the equity valuation,” the broker said in a note.Shares in Premier have risen 24 per cent since 3 December when it confirmed it was in advanced talks with two parties regarding the sale of Quorn, with one of the suitors believed to be the world’s biggest food group Nestle. Show Comments ▼ Monday 24 January 2011 8:06 am alison.lock whatsapp More From Our Partners Connecticut man dies after crashing Harley into live bearnypost.comBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.orgInside Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis’ not-so-average farmhouse estatenypost.comPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgSupermodel Anne Vyalitsyna claims income drop, pushes for child supportnypost.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgA ProPublica investigation has caused outrage in the U.S. this weekvaluewalk.comNative American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.orgRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.com980-foot skyscraper sways in China, prompting panic and evacuationsnypost.comBill Gates reportedly hoped Jeffrey Epstein would help him win a Nobelnypost.comI blew off Adam Sandler 22 years ago — and it’s my biggest regretnypost.comBiden received funds from top Russia lobbyist before Nord Stream 2 giveawaynypost.comKiller drone ‘hunted down a human target’ without being told tonypost.comMatt Gaetz swindled by ‘malicious actors’ in $155K boat sale boondogglenypost.comFlorida woman allegedly crashes children’s birthday party, rapes teennypost.comUK teen died on school trip after teachers allegedly refused her pleasnypost.comFeds seized 18 devices from Rudy Giuliani and his employees in April raidnypost.comcenter_img by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeMoneyPailShe Was A Star, Now She Works In ScottsdaleMoneyPailTotal PastThe Ingenious Reason There Are No Mosquitoes At Disney WorldTotal PastMisterStoryWoman Files For Divorce After Seeing This Photo – Can You See Why?MisterStorySerendipity TimesInside Coco Chanel’s Eerily Abandoned Mansion Frozen In TimeSerendipity TimesBrake For ItThe Most Worthless Cars Ever MadeBrake For ItBetterBe20 Stunning Female AthletesBetterBeautooverload.comDeclassified Vietnam War Photos The Public Wasn’t Meant To Seeautooverload.comElite HeraldExperts Discover Girl Born From Two Different SpeciesElite Heraldmoneycougar.comThis Proves The Osmonds Weren’t So Innocentmoneycougar.com Share Premier Foods cuts debt with Quorn division sale Tags: NULL whatsapplast_img read more