Northern Foods sale near

Marion Dakers
RANJIT BOPARAN is getting ready to publish more details of his £342m takeover bid for Northern Foods, which could be sent to shareholders as soon as today, sources said yesterday.

Boparan’s bankers at Rothschild and Goldman Sachs were this weekend putting the finishing touches on Boparan’s takeover papers, which are understood to include further details of the firm’s plans for Northern’s £142m pensions deficit.

While Boparan has made an agreement with the Northern pension trustees, the deal has not been made public.

Greencore, which agreed a nil-premium merger with Northern in November before Boparan stepped in with an all-cash offer, had promised to pour £15m into Northern’s pension deficit per year. It is believed that Boparan will match or better this.

The offer documents will be sent to Northern shareholders for approval once the Takeover Panel has given the green light, which could be as early as this morning.

Boparan declined to comment, while Northern was unavailable.