Bakkavor to float on London Stock Exchange

The international marketing magazine for fresh produce buyers in Europe
Carl Collen

BY CARL COLLEN

Bakkavor to float on London Stock Exchange

Prepared food and salad specialist announces its intention to proceed with an initial public offering

Bakkavor to float on London Stock Exchange

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Bakkavor Group, a leading provider of fresh prepared foods, has announced its intention to float on the London Stock Exchange, with admission expected to take place in November this year.

The move will comprise a primary issue of new shares by the company to raise gross proceeds of approximately £100m, enabling Bakkavor to further invest in the business and reduce its current leverage.

The offer will include the sale of part of the shares held by Baupost (41 per cent shareholder) and the founders, Agust and Lydur Gudmundsson, who hold 59 per cent of shares – although they will remain "significant" shareholders in the group.

Immediately following admission, the company intends to have a free float of at least 25 per cent of the issued share capital.

"We are delighted to be listing Bakkavor at a very exciting time for the Group," said Agust Gudmundsson, CEO of Bakkavor. "Our passion for making the best tasting fresh prepared food, underpinned by our expertise and our focus on innovation, has made us the clear leader in an attractive and fast-growing market.

"This IPO will enable us to continue to invest to ensure we create value for all investors and stakeholders, and bring more great tasting food to our customers," he added. "I am hugely proud of what has been achieved to date at Bakkavor and look forward to leading the business through the years to come."

Board changes

Bakkavor also announced that prior to admission, Simon Burke, currently an independent non-executive director, will be appointed as independent non-executive chairman.

The company's current non-executive chairman, Lydur Gudmundsson, will remain on the board as a non-executive director. Peter Gates, CFO, will be appointed to the board as an executive director prior to admission, while Sue Clark will also be appointed as an independent non-executive director.

Bakkavor is the leading provider in the UK fresh prepared food market with a 30 per cent share of the market by revenue in 2016, and its customers include some of the UK's leading grocery retailers including Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury's and Waitrose.

The company's international segment operates in the US and China.

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