Birds Eye owner Nomad Foods gets taste for Findus takeover deal

 
Michael Bow
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Fish finger mascot Captain Birdseye
Birds Eye owner Nomad Foods is in talks to buy Crispy Pancake maker Findus, in a deal which would cement the firm’s dominance in the frozen food market.

Nomad, an acquisition vehicle for hedge fund tycoon Noam Gottesman and consumer boss Martin Franklin, said it was in exclusive early stage talks with the owners of Findus to buy the non-UK business and the Findus brand.

No price was disclosed and Nomad said there was no certainty a deal would be inked. Findus’ owners include Lion Capital and JP Morgan.

Confirmation of discussions comes just days after Nomad finalised its acquisition of Birds Eye parent company Iglo, while on Tuesday hedge fund investor Bill Ackman also revealed he was a major investor in Nomad, with a 22 per cent stake.

Findus owns the Young’s seafood brand and has a strong presence in the north of England, sponsoring a stand at Grimsby Town Football Club.

A takeover of Findus’ continental operations in Europe by Nomad opens the door to a separation of the UK divisions of the business from Findus Group.

The firm faced scrutiny in 2013 when a probe by the Food Standards Agency found some Findus beef lasagnes were made of 100 per cent horse meat.

Nomad snapped up Birds Eye in April in a €2.6bn takeover deal and indicated it was eager for more acquisitions.

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