Premier splashes out £70m on custard bid
Bird's Custard and Angel Delight have been sold for £70m to Premier Foods, the group which owns Ambrosia rice pudding and Rowntree's jelly.
The desserts date back to 1837 when Alfred Bird invented powdered custard. Since 1989 the puddings have been owned by Kraft, the US food group, which will transfer production of its powdered desserts to Premier's Knighton factory in Staffordshire, which makes Cadbury's drinking chocolate.
Paul Thomas, Premier's finance director, refused to comment on whether the move would herald a line of Angel Delight drinks being developed. He said: "We're going to have a good look at the brands and understand how we make them relevant to the consumer."
The desserts category has been in slow decline, shrinking by about 3 per cent in the last three years. However, Premier was floated in July as a specialist owner of household grocery brands, some of which had been neglected by former owners.
Mr Thomas said: "Ambrosia had seen 3 per cent decline in line with the category when we bought it in December 2003. Since then we've turned it into growth. In the first half of the year it grew by 6 per cent.
"What we've got here are brands that sit in big multinationals and because of investment and marketing priorities they are a bit neglected. We effectively bring consumer awareness, marketing focus, advertising and innovation."
The Bird's and Angel Delight deal is the first acquisition since Premier floated at 215p when the US private equity group Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst, sold out of the business. Its shares closed at 258p yesterday.
The brands being bought had sales of £37m with profit before administrative costs of £9.9m in the 12 months to 14 December 2003. Premier said that it planned to spend £5m on upgrading the Knighton factory, creating 60 jobs and producing cost savings of £1m once the deal is completed next February.
Bird's and Angel Delight will join Premier's larder standards such as Typhoo tea, Branston pickle and Hartley's jam. It also owns Smash mashed potato and Loyd Grossman cooking sauces under licence.
- 1 Israel-Gaza conflict: 'When Genocide is Permissible' article removed from The Times of Israel website
- 2 Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness
- 3 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 4 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 5 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
Lost portraits of the Somme: 100 images of Tommies posing before they went over the top. Now can you help to identify them?
Israel-Gaza conflict: 'When Genocide is Permissible' article removed from The Times of Israel website
Mystery of the Siberian holes at the end of the world 'solved': Scientists offer explanation
Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness
Sabina Altynbekova, the girl branded 'too good looking' for volleyball, says social media obsession with her is a 'bit much'
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£300 - £350 per day: Orgtel: Financial Analyst, Forecasting, Halifax, Banking,...
£500 per day: Orgtel: Business Architect - Banking - Bristol - £500 per day A...
£200 - £500 per day + competitive: Orgtel: I am currently working on a large p...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Real Staffing are currently lo...