US dampener on private equity funds Private equity players will almost certainly be running a rule over the newly slimmed down Uniq, but given the current climate no one will rush to snap it up, said analysts. Uniq is now purely focused on convenience foods, having disposed of Malton, sold its milk and cheese business and spun off logistics arm Wincanton. However, problems at the St Ivel yogurt business and unexpectedly poor results in France have sent its share price plunging and last month forced the departure of chief executive Terry Stannard. West LB Panmure analyst Charles Hall said Uniq was an obvious target to be taken private but stressed parts of the business remained fundamentally unattractive. "Private equity funds are not as confident as they were before September 11," he added. ING Barings analyst Nicola Mallard added that Uniq was cheap but certainly not undervaluedvalued. Uniq chairman and temporary ceo Nigel Stapleton said all management time and efforts could now be devoted to "delivering an improved financial performance from Uniq's base business". {{NEWS }}