Top story

The Grocer this morning has an exclusive story about Urban Eat owner Adelie circling a £68m-turnover Yorkshire-based sandwich filling supplier.

The deal hungry sandwich giant is in advanced talks with Freshpak Chilled Foods and its private equity owner Jaguar Capital. Several City sources confirmed Adelie was poised to win the race in a deal process that has been ongoing for some time.

Freshpak is a Barnsley manufacturer which dominates the sandwich fillings category in the UK, dealing with all the major supermarkets, as well as operating in the convenience market and foodservice.

It had sales of £68.7m in the year to 3 January 2015 as UK food-to-go sector in the UK continued to boom, with pre-tax profits increasing fourfold to £3.4m, newly filed accounts revealed.

The transaction is expected by multiple dealmaking sources to complete next week.

Read the full story on here.

Morning update

Waitrose said Halloween and the Rugby World Cup Final pushed up its weekly sales to 31 October up by 1.4% (excl fuel) to £126.8m. Marketing director Rupert Thomas added that with Halloween falling on a Saturday, total sales for the event were up 28% on last year. It put Waitrose up, in gross terms, 1.3% in the past 13 weeks - essentially quarter three. Independent retail analyst Nick Bubb said despite the rise the going “wasn’t that easy” for the retailer. He added the supermarket was almost 1% down in the past week on a like-for-like basis and 0.7% down in the recent quarter.

The CEO of listed vending machine specialist Snacktime is leaving the business for “personal reasons”. Mark Stone will remain on the board until the end of April 2016 and will continue to oversee the activities of Snack in the Box and Drinkmaster. Sergei Kornienko, a non-executive director, will take over responsibility for the group’s two vending companies with immediate effect while a search is made for a replacement CEO. It follows CFO Tim James resigning at the end of September. Chairman, Jeremy Hamer said: “I wish to thank both Mark and Tim for their respective contributions to Snacktime. While progress is being made in many areas, the conclusion of the refinancing negotiations is fundamental to the future of our group.”

Yesterday in the City

Morrisons (MRW) shares took a hammering yesterday after another disappointing set of results. Like-for-like sales (ex fuel) fell by 2.6% in the third quarter to 1 November. CEO David Potts said the retailer was “moving at pace on the long journey towards improving the shopping trip for customers”. The City and investors disagreed. The stock closed the day as one of the FTSE 100’s biggest fallers, 4% down to 170.3p. It was a reverse of Wednesday when it was the blue chip index’s second biggest climber, rising 3.9% to 177.5p.

Tesco (TSCO) and Sainsbury’s (SBRY) were also dragged down with their listed rival, finishing 1.5% behind at 185.9p and 0.7% down at 275p respectively.

Marks & Spencer (MKS) continued to defy critics making more gains yesterday, climbing another 1% to 540.5p following the interim results.

Other fallers yesterday included Dairy Crest (DCG), which declined 1.6% to 633p after reporting falling profits as its butters and spreads business found going tough in the first half.

Coca-Cola HBC (CCH) also suffered following a Q3 trading update, despite volumes in the period growing 5.4%, with shares falling 3% to 1,541p.

The FTSE 100 itself slipped almost 50 points (0.8%) to 6,364.9 after the Bank of England trimmed its growth outlook because of slowing emerging markets,

Risers included Hilton Food Group (HFG), up 0.4% to 479.5p, and Tate & Lyle (TATE), up 1.8% to 608.5p, after the meat supplier said it had deliver “good” volume growth in a trading update and the ingredients group “performed solidly” in the first half of the year.