Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

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The private equity firm Lone Star Funds is among a pack of suitors that want to devour Princes Foods, the company behind some of Britain’s most popular tinned foods.

Sky News has learnt that Lone Star, along with other financial investors including Epiris and Aurelius, are interested in buying the company.

A deal, which would cost several hundred million pounds and potentially more than £400m, would be among the largest in the UK food sector this year.

City sources said on Thursday that Newlat, the Italian food group, and One Rock Capital Partners, another financial investor, were also interested in a takeover.

It is the latest attempt by Mitsubishi Corporation, the giant Japanese conglomerate which owns Princes, to offload the company.

An earlier auction conducted this year failed to draw interest at a sufficiently attractive price.

Princes produces tinned fish and fruits, as well as a range of soft drinks.

Houlihan Lokey, the investment bank, is working on the sale.

Princes has been owned by Mitsubishi since 1989, but traces its roots back to 1900.

Its sales declined in 2022, but remains one of the UK’s biggest food groups, with revenues of close to £1.5bn in the year to the end of March 2022.

Bankers had previously suggested that a break-up of the company was possible, with its oils business one candidate to be disposed of separately.

None of those approached by Sky News would comment.

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