Greencore Group, Britain’s biggest sandwich maker, on Monday said it had sold its U.S. business for just over $1 billion, two years after it made a major acquisition in a bid to transform its U.S. operations.
Greencore’s U.S. business produces sandwiches, salads, sushi and deserts for customers including Starbucks and the 7-Eleven convenience store.
In 2016 it purchased Illinois-based Peacock, which produces frozen breakfast sandwiches, snack kits for children and salad packs, among other items, for $747.5 million.
Greencore said in a statement it had agreed to sell its U.S. business to Hearthside Food Solutions for $1.075 billion.
It said it would distribute 509 million pounds ($668 million) in cash to shareholders and shift its full focus to developing its British business.
“We have always had a firm conviction on the underlying value and growth prospects of our U.S. business and believe that this offer fully reflects that,” Chief Executive Patrick Coveney said.
“The proposed transaction would enhance our strategic and financial flexibility, which would allow us to build on our industry-leading position in our core UK market whilst also taking advantage of emerging organic and inorganic growth opportunities,” he said.
Greencore said it hoped the deal would be completed by late November and said it would have an extraordinary general meeting to vote on it on Nov. 7.
By Conor Humphries
Schumacher will replace Alan Jope, who announced his decision to retire last September, less than a year after a failed attempt by Unilever to buy GlaxoSmithKline’s consumer healthcare business and just months after activist investor Nelson Peltz joined the company’s board.
Globally, plant-based ice creams have doubled their share of the market over the last five years, according to Tetra Pack. Pea protein and coconut milk are leading the way, but Tetra Pak cites data showing that oat-based ice cream launches have doubled in the previous year.
A myriad of so-called eco-labels are being rolled out across various F&B products, but with no gold standard or strict rules governing precisely what the logos mean and what methodology is behind them, concerns are growing that they will confuse consumers and ultimately be counterproductive.