Uniq jumps by nearly a quarter after bid from Ireland’s Greencore

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Uniq jumps by nearly a quarter after bid from Ireland’s Greencore

July 01
14:18 2011

Uniq, which sells desserts, sandwiches and chilled foods to retailers including Marks & Spencer, is one of the day’s biggest risers after an agreed bid from Irish rival Greencore.

Greencore, which missed out recently on buying Northern Foods, is paying 96p a share for Uniq, valuing the business at £113m. It is funding the deal with a rights issue and £53m debt refinancing. In the market Uniq has climbed 17.25p to 93.75p.

Earlier this year the company’s pension fund took control of the business as part of a move to deal with its huge deficit, and subsequently put it up for sale.

Clive Black at Shore Capital issued a buy note on Greencore following the deal, saying:

The acquisition of Uniq by Greencore comes after a period of considerable corporate activity for the company with disposal activity turning the group into a focused largely UK prepared foods group, plus the disappointment of not seeing through the merger with Northern Foods, which went to Boparan Holdings.

During and following the Northern Foods process it is clear Greencore’s management did not sit on its hands and so other opportunities have been explored, including Uniq. Therefore, that Greencore has announced an acquisition and that it is Uniq does not come as a major surprise to us. Note: another potential transaction that may have been reasonably high on the Greencore ‘maybe acquire’ list was, we believe, RF Brookes/Avana (Premier Foods) and the fact that it has not is, we believe, bad news for embattled Premier.

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