Private equity firm Permira is reported to be considering a Eur500 million refinancing of its Bird Eye Iglo frozen foods group. The refinancing would increase Bird Eye’s debt from Eur1.4 billion to almost Eur2 billion. The move is intended to allow Permira to return value to shareholders in the form of a dividend and to permit Bird Eye Iglo to continue its development and to play a role in further consolidation of the European frozen foods industry.
Permira acquired Bird Eye Iglo for Eur1.6 billion from Unilever in 2006 and subsequently added FindusItaly, which it purchased from Unilever for Eur800 million in 2010.
Permira put its Eur1.5 billion turnover frozen food business up for sale earlier this year. However, bids from other private equity firms, Blackstone and BC Partners, fell short of the Eur2.8 billion price tag on Birds Eye Iglo and were both rejected.