Market too tough for a Big Bear listing

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The Independent Online

Big Bear Group has shelved it's plans to float on the stock market. The company behind the Sugar Puffs cereal brand, Fox's Glacier Mints and Just Brazils chocolates has become the latest in a wave of companies forced to ditch their hopes for listings.

According to Big Bear's latest accounts, it posted a profit of £7.8m for the year to the end of August 2009. Since it was founded in 2003, the company's sales have surged from less than £14m in 2004 to £53m last year.

The firm's chief executive, Mario Giannotta, said earlier in the year that money raised from a flotation would be used to buy other "underperforming heritage food brands".

John Rothenberg, formerly of Unilever, and Margaret Mountford, known for her appearances on Lord Sugar's The Apprentice, had been lined up to join the board of the firm on its listed debut. A spokesman said that Big Bear was monitoring market conditions.

The decision follows many high-profile companies abandoning plans for stock market quotations. Fashion chain New Look, Travelport and Madame Tussauds-owner Merlin have all dropped plans to list in the short to medium term.

Supergroup, the company behind the clothing brand Superdry, is one of only a handful still pursuing listings. Its founder, Julian Dunkerton, is looking to raise more than £100m.