Permira gobbles Unilever unit for £1.15bn

The European private equity giant has won the auction for the Birds Eye and igloo frozen food brands.

Permira beat back rival private equity buying groups to clinch a deal with Unilever for its frozen foods businesses.

The deal, valued at a reported £1.15 billion (€1.7 billion; $2.2 billion), includes the well known igloo and Birds Eye brands, famous Fish Fingers and Schlemmer Filets. The company has operations in the UK as well as France, Portugal, Ireland, the Netherlands and Belgium.

Cheryl Potter, a partner at Permira, said of the deal: “The market sees few food deals of this size and very rarely involving brands of this stature.”

Other bidders for the business reportedly included CapVest Equity Partners in partnership with The Blackstone Group.

The auction was handled by Goldman Sachs.