Premier Foods' chairman David Beever is stepping down

Emma Haslett
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A shopping basket full of Premier Foods brands including Cuppa Soup and Paxo stuffing
The company is behind brands such as Ambrosia custard and Cadbury cakes

The chairman of the company behind such classics as Angel Delight and Mr Kipling has announced plans to step down.

Premier Foods said this morning David Beever plans to step down as chairman of the company next year, in order to reduce his work commitments.

The board said it will now begin the search for a replacement.

Failed bid

The news comes six months after the company warded off a takeover approach by US spice giant McCormick, which sent shares on a rollercoaster ride - having almost doubled on news of the takeover in March, they then fell 30 per cent after the deal collapsed.

Japanese rival Nissin later took a near-20 per cent stake in the business, but Paulson & Co, one of the company's largest shareholders, wasn't happy.

It criticised the company's board for failing to recommend the 65p per share offer, a 106 per cent premium to the share price before the announcement happened.

A spokesman from Paulson & Co said it was "extremely disappointing" that the board had not recommended the offer.

Exceedingly good profits

However, all was forgiven in May when Premier Foods unveiled pre-tax profits of £86.1m in the year to the end of March, a 3.5 per cent rise on the previous year.

Since then, shares have risen closer to the original offer price. This morning they were at 52.7p, 0.36 per cent higher.

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