UK stock market braces itself for Colman’s MBO

Colman’s of Norwich, the UK food and drink arm of Reckitt & Colman, could end up as a management buyout, say City sources.

Colman’s of Norwich, the UK food and drink arm of Reckitt & Colman, could end up as a management buyout, say City sources.

The firm put the business up for sale last October. It aims to raise about ú1bn through the sale, a share issue and borrowings to buy Lehn & Fink household products division from US giant Eastman Kodak.

The company expects its future to be finalised officially by the beginning of March. It refused to comment on speculation that it would be subject to an management buyout – following suggestions that the price being asked for Colman’s was too high.

“Danone was certainly interested, but now maybe they have decided the price was not quite what they anticipated so they’ve turned to an MBO team,” says Smith New Court food analyst Tim Potter.

“It is possible Cadbury Schweppes’ move to buy the rest of Dr Pepper has diverted its attention away from SB’s Lucozade and R&C’s Robinsons, and the rest of the Reckitt business, since it was thought to be in the running,” he adds.

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