Findus and Young’s, the frozen foods brands, have been acquired by private equity company Lion Capital for £1.1bn from CapVest, the buy out company.
It is understood that Lion Capital sees the brands as a platform for consolidating the European frozen food market, and it is thought to be eyeing UK market leader, Birds Eye.
Findus and Young’s are part of FoodVest, which also includes the Seafood Company, a supplier of chilled seafood, and had revenues of over £1bn last year.
CapVest acquired Young’s six years ago for £137m and added the international operations of Findus in 2006 in a £436m deal.
Permira, the UK-based private equity company, also acquired Birds Eye and Iglo in 2006 for more than £1bn. Martin Glenn, the former president of Pepsico, is chief executive of the company.
Sales of frozen foods have improved over recent years as consumer concerns about health have led them to reconsider the category. According to IRI data for the 12 weeks to May 17, total value sales for Birds Eye were up by 6.5%.