Analysts have warned that Capvest, the private equity firm, which bought part of the Findus frozen food business from EQT this week, will have a tough task reinvigorating the sector even if it can secure its other rumoured targets, Heinz frozen operations and Birds Eye.
Capvest, which owns Young’s, is believed to be one of three companies still in the running to buy the Heinz frozen business, with a deal set to be concluded by March. At the same time Unilever is likely to confirm its intention to sell Birds Eye frozen food. The Findus deal only includes assets in Sweden, Norway, France and Thailand.
David Hallam, an analyst at Williams de Broë, said Capvest would struggle to add value to frozen food. He said: “Supermarkets are not likely to be keen on something competing with own label chilled.”
Meanwhile, Heinz has agreed to the sale of its European seafood business to private equity firm Lehman Brothers. The deal includes brands such as John West and is believed to be valued at £450m.