Nomad Foods has confirmed it is in talks to net Findus Group as it continues its efforts to create a global food giant.

The acquisition vehicle founded by entrepreneurs Martin E. Franklin and Noam Gottesman said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange it was in early stage discussions with the frozen food producer to buy its continental Europe business and the Findus brand.

It follows the completion earlier this week of Nomad’s anchor €2.6bn (£1.84bn) investment to purchase Birds Eye owner Iglo Group.

Analysts and dealmakers have tipped Findus as the next target of Nomad since the Iglo deal was announced in April, and Birds Eye MD Andy Weston-Webb told The Grocer that the Iglo Group was the natural consolidator in the frozen sector.

“Nomad notes the recent press speculation regarding a potential transaction with the Findus Group,” the investment vehicle said in the statement. “Nomad confirms that it is in exclusive early stage discussions with Findus to acquire its continental Europe business and the Findus brand.”

It added that there could be no certainty the discussions would result in a transaction.

A combination of Iglo and Findus would not include the Young’s Seafood brand, which would likely be sold separately from the wider Findus group as a result of competition concerns in the UK.

Findus is owned by Lion Capital, Highbridge Capital Management and JP Morgan, with Lion having acquired the company for £1.1bn at the top of the market in 2008.

Nomad was floated on the London Stock Exchange in April 2014, raising $500m (£327.2m) on the back of ambitious plans to build a global food and drink group. It raised another $795m (£493m) from a private placement to institutional investors to fund the Iglo acquisition, with intentions to raise about $750m more for future deals.

In a statement of intent, billionaire hedgefund manager Bill Ackman, who runs Pershing Square Capital Management, also revealed this week that his firm owns a 22% stake in Nomad.