Produce Investments lines up £12m potatover of Jersey Royal

 
Marion Dakers
NEW potatoes could have a new owner in time for the spring harvest, as Aim-listed Produce Investments sizes up the biggest producer of Jersey Royals.

The Jersey Royal Company produces around 25,000 tonnes of spuds a year and is the biggest user of land on the Channel Island.

Produce Investments is reportedly offering £12m, making the possible deal the biggest potatover for the firm in more than a year.

The bidder, which owns potato breeder and supplier Greenvale, said yesterday it is in a period of exclusive talks, which are subject to due diligence.

The Jersey Royal Company is currently owned by local shareholders with ties to the island’s agricultural industry.

Jersey estimates that between 30,000 and 40,000 tonnes of the potatoes are produced each spring, generating around £28m a year for the island’s growers.

The spuds are covered by an EU protected designation of origin – the same scheme that ensures that Melton Mowbray pork pies and Champagne are only produced in their eponymous regions.

The chips were up yesterday for Produce Investments stock, which rose 12.8 per cent to 242.5p.