Well-known breakfast table brands including Robertson’s marmalade, Hartley’s jam and Gales honey were today set for US ownership as part of a £200m takeover deal.
Premier Foods, which makes Hovis bread and Mr Kipling cakes, is selling its range of sweet spreads and jellies to Hain Celestial, the maker of natural and organic products including the Linda McCartney meat free range.
Other brands in the sale include Sun-Pat peanut butter and marmalades Frank Cooper and Keiller, while Premier will also transfer its Histon factory near Cambridge, where most of the products are made.
Combined with other recent sales such as vinegar brand Sarson’s and pickles business Haywards, Premier has now achieved £275m of the £330m disposal proceeds it has targeted by June 2014.
It is battling to reduce a debt pile that stood at £1.3bn in June, while simplifying the business in order to focus on a core portfolio of brands that also includes Batchelors, Ambrosia and Oxo.
Hain, whose parent company owns New Covent Garden Soup Co, already has UK operations at Fakenham in Norfolk, where it mainly produces the Linda McCartney range of frozen ready meals. Its Luton head office produces 30 million sandwiches per year for a leading UK retailer, including their organic range.