Northern Foods could face £300m hostile bid

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A West Midlands entrepreneur is considering making a £300m hostile bid for Northern Foods which could scupper that group's plans to merge with Greencore.

Northern Foods, which makes Goodfella's pizza, yesterday confirmed it had received a letter from Ranjit Boparan's holding company on 17 December requesting access to data regarding a potential bid.

Mr Boparan owns 2 Sisters Food, a key chicken supplier to the retail giant Tesco, and this year bought the Harry Ramsden's fish and chip restaurant chain. Northern Foods said: "The letter contained no further details regarding Boparan's intentions and Boparan has not made an offer proposal to the board."

Last month, Northern Foods agreed to merge with Ireland's Greencore, a maker of convenience foods, in a near £500m all-share deal. The combined business is to be named Essenta Foods. Northern Foods continues to believe the merger with Greencore "offers substantial benefits for its shareholders".