Packaging group will raise 85m pounds for acquisitions

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The Independent Online
FIELD GROUP, the company responsible for packaging an extensive range of products from the chic Chanel No 5 to the less sophisticated Lean Cuisine, expects to offer about 35 per cent of its shares to the public when it comes to the market next month, writes Topaz Amoore.

Field Group, which issued its pathfinder prospectus yesterday, plans to raise between pounds 85m and pounds 90m via a placing with institutions and the public. It expects to have a market capitalisation of around pounds 150m.

The full prospectus and price will be published on 23 June, with trading beginning on 9 July.

The company, which specialises in the design, manufacture and sale of printed folding cartons, was formed in 1991 after a management buyout involving 600 employees, led by CINVen, the venture capital group.

In the past five years it has invested pounds 55m in capital spending, principally on computer-aided design and production equipment. During that period, operating profits have doubled from pounds 5.3m to pounds 10.6m.

Other well-known brands packaged by the company include Jaffa Cakes, Cadbury's Milk Tray, Marlboro cigarettes and Cornetto ice-creams.

It has five manufacturing sites in the UK and one in Belgium, acquired in 1990. Last week it bought the packaging division of Boots Print to expand further into UK pharmaceutical and toiletry products.

Keith Gilchrist, chief executive, hopes to use the proceeds from the float for further acquisitions.