British food manufacturer Premier Foods is in talks to sell the soup and noodles brand Batchelors to its biggest shareholder, the Japanese Nissin. Batchelors is said to be valued at more than £200m.
Premier Foods tried to play down reports that a £200 million sale of its soups and noodles brand Batchelors is on the menu. The manufacturer spoke out after it was claimed that the firm is in talks to sell the division to its biggest shareholder, Japanese noodle-maker Nissin, in a move that could trigger a gradual break-up of the group.
The Hertfordshire-headquartered business did not rule out selling off the arm behind Super Noodles. Premier Foods said any talks over the sale of its Batchelors brand are at only a very early stage. It stressed that it periodically has discussions with third parties, including Nissin. Gavin Darby, chief executive, stressed that there had been no “discussions which have gone beyond an exploratory stage” but said the company regularly reviews its options “to deliver value for all our stakeholders in line with good corporate governance”. Premier Foods also pointed to previous updates, and said it has not changed its strategy to cut its debt pile, which stands at more than £500 million. As one of biggest food companies in UK, Premier Foods is employing over 4,000 colleagues at 15 sites.