Failed Pringles deal 'will not put an end to Kettle's Europe plans'

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The UK boss of Kettle Foods has insisted that the “disappointing” collapse of the Pringles deal last week will not put the company off its growth plans.

The discovery of accounting irregularities at Kettle Foods’ US owner Diamond Foods scuppered the planned $2.3bn purchase of Pringles from Procter & Gamble.

“Obviously it’s disappointing - the Pringles deal would have opened up new opportunities,” Kettle Foods MD Dominic Lowe told The Grocer.

It would have created a formidable sales proposition in the UK and given Kettle a good platform for European expansion, he said. However, he added, P&G’s decision to sell Pringles to Kellogg’s in a bigger $2.7bn deal had ended a period of uncertainty, and Kettle UK was now preparing to launch two new products.

“It has been a tricky time since November, but we can now move on and focus on growing the business,” he said.

The work done preparing for the Pringles deal had not been in vain, he maintained, as it had demonstrated the potential of Kettle crisps in mainland Europe. Growing the business on the continent would now be a priority, he said.

Kettle UK’s investment plans would not be knocked off course by the problems at Diamond Foods, he insisted. He added that he was fully behind interim CEO Rick Wolford, who was appointed earlier this month after former CEO Michael Mendes was placed on administrative leave following an internal investigation.

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