Unigate found few friends in the City this week as it revealed continuing problems with its Malton pigmeat business. With first half figures due on November 13, the company has been busy briefing analysts who were told the results should be "broadly in line with expectations". But Unigate also warned that rising pig prices (see page 22) were adversely impacting Malton. And it admits the group is being held back by poor results at the pigmeat processing division. Unigate has hinted before that Malton could be sold. And last year The Grocer revealed that the Danes were interested in acquiring the business, which is seen as the jewel in the crown of the British pigmeat industry. Charles Hall, an analyst at WestLB Panmure, is one of those who believes a sale is likely ­ but only if Unigate can get an acceptable price for the business. With a £50m pricetag, Malton is more likely to be snapped up by the Danes than a management buyout team. The bad news at Malton has rather taken the gloss off other more positive developments. For starters, Unigate is likely to demerge its successful Wincanton logistics business sometime soon. And on October 1 its name changes to Uniq, which marks the group's rebirth as a business focused on the fresh foods market. There's another more pressing matter: Unigate continues to be linked to a possible bid for Hazlewood. Panmure's Hall believes Unigate will struggle to raise the £400m needed to buy Hazlewood. And others believe Unigate may become the acquired rather than the acquiror. {{NEWS }}