Nott to unveil three-way Hillsdown carve-up

HILLSDOWN HOLDINGS, the Typhoo tea to Buxted chickens and furniture group, will this week unveil plans for a wholesale carve-up of the group into three separately quoted companies in an effort to counter mounting City concern over loss of direction and shareholder value.

The plans include a pounds 300m October stock market listing for Terranova Foods, Hillsdown's chilled foods business, and a pounds 250m listing for Fairview Homes, its house- building subsidiary.

Advisers hope the announcement, due on Tuesday, will deflect attention from a set of poor profit figures. "The results are going to be pretty bad if you add up the three and compare them to what the whole once produced," a City source said.

The demerger plans, which will give shareholders stock market plays in Terranova, Fairview and the rump Hillsdown groceries company, were devised by Dresdner Kleinwort Benson, but the role of sponsor to the floats has been usurped by Schroders.

Sir John Nott, the chairman, has decided to push ahead with the demerger to head off criticism of poor first-half results, hit by the impact of a strong pound on the group's poultry division.

Hillsdown is under pressure from the City to create better value for investors after failure earlier this year to secure a pounds 1.6bn takeover from Unigate, which pulled out of the talks after taking fright at the scale of Hillsdown's problems in the poultry division.

Sir John will also give an update this week on plans for the trade sales of Hillsdown's furniture manufacturing, poultry breeding, wines and spirits, chicken and eggs, and potato businesses.

Poultry profits collapsed as Continental imports flooded into the UK on the back of a strong pound. Poor summer weather has also hit sales of poultry for barbecues.

Shareholders will be asked to approve the break up of the group at an EGM on 2 October, with trading in the shares to begin a few days later.

Terranova is viewed as the most exciting of the two businesses to be listed. Last year it made profits of pounds 27m on turnover of pounds 410m. The company has 19 factories across Europe and is a big supplier of sandwiches and chilled meals to supermarket groups including Marks and Spencer.

Fairview specialises in building mass-market housing in the South-east. Last year, it made profits of pounds 41m on turnover of pounds 163m, but the slowdown in the housing market is already prompting a rethink by advisers on the valuation of the business.

One City source said; "There are going to be a lot of downgrades on these businesses after the results are announced, because the poultry business simply hasn't rebounded in the way expected. We wanted a clean break with this business but we are now going to have to keep it until profits rebound and we can get a reasonable price."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
peopleMathematician John Nash inspired the film Beautiful Mind
News
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Life and Style
Audrey Hepburn with Hubert De Givenchy, whose well-cut black tuxedo is a 'timeless look'
fashionIt may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
music
Life and Style
fashionFrom bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Neil Pavier: Management Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you looking for your next opportunity for ...

Sheridan Maine: Commercial Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ACA/ACCA/ACMA qua...

Laura Norton: Project Accountant

£50,000 - £60,000: Laura Norton: Are you looking for an opportunity within a w...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine