Scottish pork producer on verge of sale
Scottish pork, chicken and beef producer Grampian Food
Country Group is on the verge of passing into foreign hands, with at least three
firms preparing bids for control of the group.
The company is the biggest supplier of meat and poultry
to the UK's supermarkets and was forced into a sale amid mounting levels of debt. It recorded a strong loss
in the financial year 2005-2006 and was forced to close six
Dutch meat producer Vion and global pork and poultry-producing
giant Sadia, of Brazil, are vying with CCMP, the American private equity firm,
for control of Grampian.
Spokesperson for Vion, Marc van der Lee confirmed that "it is well-known that
Vion is planning on expanding in the UK, which is a very important market for
Grampian employs around 25,000 people and is the largest private employer in
Scotland. It processes weekly around 5,300 tonnes of pork, 7,250 tonnes of
chicken, 1,900 tonnes of beef and 700 tonnes of lamb, which makes it an
interesting acquisition for Vion to increase its UK market share.
A sum of Â£400m (€540m) is expected to be involved in the transaction.
Grampian, owned by its 64-year-old millionaire founder Fred Duncan, is seen
by analysts to be an attractive asset as it is still a market leader in the
â€¢ Grampian Food Country Group
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