Birds Eye is on block for €3bn

THE company that owns fish finger maker Birds Eye is being put on the block for a possible €2.9bn (£2.42bn) by Permira, its private equity firm owner.

It is understood that Permira has received a number of approaches for Iglo and has appointed Credit Suisse to handle the process.

Private equity firms such as Blackstone and Cinven have been touted as possible bidders for Iglo.

But it is expected to generate Eastern interest too as Asian companies look for growth opportunities in Europe.

Chinese company Bright Food came close to buying British company United Biscuits, the maker of Hula Hoops and Jaffa Cakes, last year and could be looking for another chance to enter Europe’s food market.

COFCO, China’s agricultural conglomerate, has also stepped up its overseas food investment recently.

And Thai Union Frozen Products said earlier this month it planned to raise capital by offering 202.8m new shares, sparking rumours it was looking to make a big acquisition.

Another possible bidder is Ranjit Singh Boparan, the West Midlands-based ready-meals entrepreneur who bought Northern Foods last year.