Ranjit Singh Boparan has muddied the waters over the proposed Essenta tie-up by snapping up a stake in Northern Foods.
The owner of chicken processor 2 Sisters Food Group has bought a 6.6% stake in Northern over the past few weeks.
The move has prompted speculation that he might seek to derail the company’s merger with Greencore, announced last month.
The deal – which would create a chilled and convenience foods giant under the new name Essenta – remains subject to shareholder approval.
The companies believe they can generate annual savings of up to £40m as a result of the tie-up.
Outgoing Northern boss Barden bags Brakes switch (24 November 2010)
'A big, big step up’: Essenta synergies create chilled giant (20 November 2010)
2 Sisters warns feed prices still ‘a threat’ (13 November 2010)