Ranjit Boparan

2012 was a great year for Boparan: defying rising feed costs and lower consumer confidence, his 2 Sisters Food Group posted a 13.4% increase in sales and an 11.9% increase in EBITDA, while generating almost £200m in additional cash to reduce net debt by £121m.

It was a fantastic endorsement of Boparan’s daring raid on Northern Foods two years earlier, and having demonstrated his credentials, he was able not only to lower interest payment rates on the £695m bond he had used to buy Northern Foods, but to go back to the market for more - should he need it.

In the event, he may not. And, acquiring Vion’s UK red meat and poultry operations in February for a paltry £30m, Boparan’s 2 Sisters is surely the biggest winner from this year’s horsemeat scandal, with his move into British red meat perfectly timed - just as supermarkets (most notably, key customer Tesco) and consumers started clamouring for more homegrown proteins. Of course, he’ll have his work cut out, but no-one doubts Boparan’s abilities.