Nomad, the new owner of Birds Eye, is already hungry for the next deal as it seeks to build up a global consumer goods group to rival the likes of Unilever.

The firm sees grocery as ripe for consolidation and will be “nimble and opportunistic” in building on its anchor investment in the iconic frozen food company, sources close to Nomad told The Grocer this week.

“They have enormous ambitions and it makes sense to do things in frozen first, but they have aspirations for the group to be many times its current size so they won’t constrain themselves to one category,” said Cheryl Potter, head of the global consumer team at Permira, which this week sold Iglo Group to Nomad for €2.6bn (£1.8bn) and retained a 9% stake.

Nomad founders Noam Gottesman and Martin Franklin have form in growing huge groups from scratch. Franklin built Jarden from a $120m jar maker into a consumer goods empire valued at more than £9bn, while Gottesman co-founded hedge fund GLG Partners.

Andy Weston-Webb, Birds Eye MD in the UK and Ireland, said Birds Eye was the “natural consolidator” in the frozen sector and the perfect platform for Nomad to grow from. “Nomad is creating a business with us from which we aim to build the future,” he added. ”It is quite a distinctive transaction, and the mood at Birds Eye is optimistic.”

A source close to Nomad’s founders said Franklin would apply the same “disciplined” acquisition strategy of his past, looking for established companies with strong track records, diversified revenue bases and experienced management teams. “The food sector is very attractive to them as it’s resilient but also fragmented, which means there are abundant opportunities for further M&A.”

A City source added the Iglo deal had opened up a “whole raft of options” in the frozen and chilled categories, with pizza manufacturer Stateside Foods, the non-core frozen brands in 2 Sisters such as Goodfella’s and Holland’s Pies, and parts of Nature’s Way and Wellness Foods all potentially attractive targets for Nomad.