Greencore ends pursuit of Northern Foods

City A.M. Reporter
Ireland's Greencore it would not make a new bid for food manufacturer Northern Foods after failing to reach an agreement that would offer strong returns to its shareholders.

Greencore's initial all-share offer for Northern Foods, the maker of Fox's biscuits and Goodfella's pizza, was trumped in January by a £342m cash bid from chicken magnate Ranjit Boparan.

Greencore said it had been working with a partner over the past few weeks on a possible takeover of Northern Foods and a simultaneous sale of some of its brands.

"This approach was intended to provide significant funding and allow Greencore to acquire only the parts of the Northern Foods business with the greatest synergy potential," the group said in a statement.

"However, after substantial investigation, the board has determined that an improved offer could not be concluded on terms which would deliver sufficiently strong returns to Greencore shareholders," it added.

Greencore said the costs of its aborted attempt to buy Northern Foods will be treated as an exceptional item in its 2011 results.