Perkins Food to auction chilled food unit

Food industry consultant Stamford Partners will auction the unit which makes own brand products such as ready-made meals for supermarkets including Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Asda.

The unit is forecast to make earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of£11m on sales. One source said: “It’s a pretty good business although there are a couple of things standing against it… Sainsbury’s is a major customer and is having particular problems at the moment.”

Other business units include the UK fresh division, which sells sandwich filings and pre-cooked vegetables. ABN Amro Capital bought Perkins for £250m in December 2000 and will wait to see how the UK chilled food sale is received before contemplating the sale of the groups’ other businesses.