Bakkavor was exploring plans for a stock market flotation, the expert confirmed to FoodManufacture.co.uk. Reports suggested the food manufacturer was working with its long-term partner Rothschild on a flotation on the London Stock Market this year, or early next year.
The industry expert, who didn’t want to be named, said: “They [Icelandic owners Agust and Lydur Gudmundsson] have done very well to weather the storm of the banking crisis of 2008, and the Icelandic situation [financial crisis between 2008 and 2011]. They have continued to trade well, and are a well-run business.
‘An excellent addition’
“The UK traded food sector is so thin that a large, successful business like Bakkavor would be an excellent addition, after the loss of companies like Northern Foods.”
The expert said more large manufacturers, like Bakkavor, would be a welcome addition to the stock market. 2 Sisters Food group was highlighted by the industry insider, but said it was unlikely to happen in the near future.
“It would be good to see 2 Sisters there too, if it could get its financial performance to the right level. Although, it’s probably some way off.”
Stock market flotation
Both Bakkavor and Rothschild declined to comment on the reports of a stock market flotation.
Bakkavor is the second-highest ranked food business on The Sunday Times rich list, taking the 28th position. It reported £1.7bn in sales last year, with profits of £144M.
Meanwhile, Bakkavor launched a recruitment drive in April. It was recruiting more than 150 staff at its salad production business in Dover, while also hiring 86 new staff at its Cucina Sano site in Lincolnshire.
The manufacturer employs more than 18,000 people across 51 sites globally. It has 30 facilities in the UK, and manufactures about 5,000 different products across 18 different food categories.
Bakkavor reported stock market move – at a glance
- “Excellent addition” to stock market, expert told FoodManufacture.co.uk
- Stock market flotation to value Bakkavor at about £1.5bn
- Working with advisor Rothschild on the stock market listing