Sector News

Premier Foods launches strategic review and board shakeup

February 28, 2019
Food & Drink

Premier Foods has launched a strategic review and made a number of changes to its board as the company attempt to increase value for its shareholders.

The company – which owns brands such as Mr Kipling, Batchelors and Homepride – has been under pressure from its activist investors to sell units and streamline its operations to generate revenue.

Two of these activist investors, Daniel Wosner of Oasis Management Company and Orkun Kilic of Paulson & Co, will now join the board as non-executive directors with immediate effect. Oasis is the second largest shareholder company, while Paulson is the third, both of which hold stakes of around 12% in the company.

Simon Bentley, the executive chairman of UK-based ATM operator Cash on the Move, will also join the board as a non-executive director. To facilitate these appointments, non-executive directors Ian Krieger and Jennifer Laing will be retiring from their positions on the board.

According to a report from the Financial Times, Oasis attempted to oust Premier’s former chief executive officer Gavin Darby last July, claiming that “he had presided over five years’ worth of destruction of shareholder value”. This attempt failed, though Darby subsequently announced that he would step down from his position in January a few months later.

Upon Darby’s announcement, the company declared that it would aim to sell its Ambrosia brand to reduce its debts and focus on its other brands, but cancelled the plan earlier this month, blaming the current business climate.

Keith Hamill, chairman of Premier Foods plc said: “I would like to thank Ian Krieger and Jennifer Laing for their significant contribution to the Board over the last six years.”

By Martin White

Source: FoodBev

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