Sector News

Premier Foods appoints former Travelodge chairman

August 10, 2017
Food & Drink

Premier Foods has sought to reassure investors after a turbulent year by appointing former Travelodge chairman and one-time WH Smith finance director Keith Hamill as its new chairman.

The decision to hire Mr Hamill comes just weeks after the Mr Kipling maker said sales had fallen by more than 3pc in the first quarter, and months after it left shareholders reeling by issuing a surprise profit warning.

The appointment also follows Premier’s decision to reject a series of takeover offers from US flavouring manufacturer McCormick, including a bid of 65p per share.

The company’s share price has since fallen to 39p, while McCormick has instead turned its attentions elsewhere, snapping up Reckitt Benckiser’s food division last month.

Mr Hamill, who currently serves as a non-executive director of easyJet and luggage manufacturer Samsonite, will take over in November, replacing current chairman David Beever.

Earlier in his career, Mr Hamill was a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers and previously served as the chairman at menswear retailer Moss Bros.

“Keith’s background in consumer facing businesses in addition to his breadth of experience as a chairman will be invaluable as we continue to focus on our strategic objectives,” said senior independent non-executive director Ian Krieger.

Despite its difficulties, in May the company was able to land a crucial new agreement to make Cadbury cakes for the next five years. Analysts had warned the company could face “unmitigated disaster” if it failed to extend the lucrative licensing deal.

Shares in Premier Foods had fallen by around 1pc to 39p by early afternoon.

By Sam Dean

Source: The Telegraph

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