ABN Amro acquires Perkins

Perkins Foods announced last week that it had received an indicative offer from a financial buyer and today announced that ABN Amro is its new owner.

Private equity firm ABM Amro Capital has acquired Perkins Foods for £230m (E378m).

Perkins Foods shareholders will receive 121 pence per ordinary share, a 3 pence dividend and 121 pence per preference share and a 4 per cent dividend which, when combined with debt refinancing brings the total value of the business to £230m. Working capital and acquisition facilities with costs generates a total deal size of £290m.

ABN Amro Capital provided £85m in equity for the deal, Pricoa Capital supplied £40m in mezzanine finance and Royal Bank of Scotland underwrote £165m in senior debt facilities.

Ian Taylor, chief executive of ABN Amro Capital, said: “This deal completes a fantastic year for our recently formed leverage buy-out team. We have a strong interest in the consumer products sector and see a number of opportunities to grow Perkins Foods by acquiring further brands or businesses.”

Perkins Foods announced last week that it had received an indicative offer from a financial buyer. It was suggested that the approach could have come from any one of a large number of private-equity firms that have shown an interest in the food products sector over the past 12 months. A number of firms, including Schroder Ventures, UBS Capital, CVC Capital Partners, Doughty Hanson, Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst and NatWest Equity Partners were thought to be likely candidates. Following the announcement, shares in the company rose by just over six per cent.

Earlier this year, a management buy-out attempt as well as an outside bid approach from Greencore, the Irish foods group, both failed.

Perkins Food is a pan-European private label manufacturer of chilled and frozen convenience foods, supplying the top 20 retailers in Europe.

ABN Amro Capital manages funds of approximately E2.5bn. This is the second major public-to-private transaction for ABN Amro Capital this year following the E500m acquisition of De Dietrich, the French central heating, railway and chemical process equipment business.

Also this year, Hazlewood Foods was subject to three takeover offers, two from private-equity groups, and finally accepted a £258m bid from Greencore last month. Bernard Matthews eponymous founder is buying out his turkey producing company which recently fought off a takeover bid from Sara Lee, the US group.