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Uniq makes mouths water with Food to Go
by Nick Goodway - 24/06/2011
"Uniq, the food manufacturer which has been put up for sale by its own pension fund, today revealed what bidders like and dislike about the business."
With Samworth Brothers - the firm which makes Ginsters pasties - and Ireland's Greencore both reported to be lurking with bids of around £100 million, Uniq updated its shareholders at their annual meeting on its current trading.
Sandwiches, salads and other "Food to Go" sales are up 11.2% in the past 21 weeks proving just why it takes top spot in the Uniq banqueting hall. Both Greencore and Samworth are keen to raise their share of the UK's food-on-the-hoof market.
But in Uniq's other business, sales of desserts are off 5.9%. That reflects Uniq's decision to stop making cottage cheese and to pull out of making everyday desserts for supermarkets and other own-label sellers. On the other hand, premium dessert sales have risen year-on-year.
Analysts said that potential bidders might prefer to see Uniq make a clean break from desserts rather than leaving them with a potentially messy business to clean up.
Geoff Eaton, chief executive of Uniq, last year negotiated a deal with the firm's pension fund which saw a £436 million pension black hole wiped out in return for the fund taking a 90% stake in the company. The pension fund said it was open to offers in April.
More Details: http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard-business/article-23961638-uniq-makes-mouths-water-with-food-to-go.do