Premier Foods' top shareholder criticises board for "arrogance" over failed bid talks

Kasmira Jefford
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Premier Foods is now focusing on its new alliance with Japan's Nissin (Source: Premier Foods)

Premier Foods’ third biggest investor has criticised the company’s board for its “arrogance” and backed the idea of its chairman resigning after bid talks with US suitor McCormick collapsed.

US hedge fund Paulson & Co. said: “We have not written a letter asking for his resignation but would certainly support the idea.”

The firm added that its failure to recommend an offer at a 106 per cent premium to the pre-announcement price must be “a record for corporate arrogance”.

"McCormick, after making three offers, understandably decided to withdraw rather than proceed without a recommendation. Now the shareholders are left with a price of 39p with the same management making the same promises as it did 2 years ago when it sold stock at 81p on a blended basis," a spokesperson for the company said.

The comments come after Paulson told City A.M. last week that "it had expressed its disappointment" to the board, having previously urged it to engage with McCormick.

The company behind Schwartz seasonings walked away this month after making three bid approaches for Premier, which was all rejected. The Mr Kipling-maker finally opened its books after the third attempt.

But McCormick said that after careful consideration, it would not be able to offer a price that would be recommended by Premier's board "while also delivering appropriate returns for McCormick shareholders".

Premier's shares have fallen by nearly a quarter to 39p over the last month.

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