DUBLIN • Irish convenience-food supplier Greencore plc agreed to sell its US unit back to its previous owner for US$1.1 billion (RM4.58 billion), exiting the troubled business less than two years after buying it.
Hearthside Food Solutions LLC, a major supplier to companies such as Kraft Heinz Co, is buying the business, formerly known as Peacock Foods, the Dublin-based company said in a statement yesterday. Greencore shares rose as much as 8.5% in London.
The transaction returns the business, which makes refrigerated sandwiches and salads, to its previous owner, Charlesbank Capital Partners, a private- equity company that bought Hearthside in May along with a Swiss partner.
Greencore said it aims to focus on being a supplier of UK convenience food.
Earlier this year, Greencore said it would miss earnings expectations as it moved to reshape its US business, sending its shares plunging by 25%.
Greencore said it would take a charge of £3 million (RM16.22 million) to cover costs including those linked to halting fresh production at its Rhode Island facility from March 25. Last year, the company’s shares fell to the lowest level in more than three years after it voluntarily recalled sandwiches and seafood stuffing in that market after a health scare.
Greencore received an unsolicited approach from Hearthside at the end of August, CEO Coveney (picture) said.
The proceeds will allow Greencore to declare a special dividend of 72 pence per ordinary share, Greencore said.
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