Food giant RHM has refused to confirm reports it is planning a possible flotation later this year.
Reports suggested Credit Suisse Boston had been asked to prepare the float by RHM’s private equity owner Doughty Hanson. Both companies declined to comment.
If the flotation goes ahead, it will propel the group to become the second-biggest listed food company behind Associated British Foods.
The estimated value of RHM, which makes Mr Kipling, Hovis and Mothers Pride, ranges from £1.5bn to £1.8bn. The move would mark Doughty’s second attempt at a flotation. Plans in 2002 were abandoned due to uncertain market conditions.