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Greencore Rises; Paper Says Exista Hired Bank for Bid

Greencore Group Plc (GNC), the world's biggest maker of packaged sandwiches, rose in Dublin trading after the Irish Independent said Iceland's Exista hf is considering a bid.

Greencore, which is based in Dublin, added 6 cents, or 1.5 percent, to 4.11 euros. Exista, which owns food supplier Bakkavor Group Hf, hired Deutsche Bank AG as an adviser and may want to merge Bakkavor's Geest division with Greencore's sandwich unit, the Irish newspaper said today.

The Irish company's shares pared gains of as much as 6.2 percent after Reuters subsequently reported that Exista hasn't built an 8 percent holding, as the Independent had said, and doesn't plan to make a bid. Reuters cited an unnamed source close to Exista.

Greencore, which makes soup and sauces for British grocery chains Asda and J Sainsbury Plc, climbed 5 percent on Feb. 11 after an initial report that said Exista amassed a stake. Chairman Ned Sullivan said last week the sandwich maker had ``seen a change on the share register'' and ``doesn't need a change of ownership.''

Spokesman Billy Murphy said Greencore wouldn't comment on market speculation. Exista spokesman Sigurdur Nordal couldn't be contacted.

Exista fell 1.1 percent to 12.544 kronur in Reykjavik.

To contact the reporters on this story: Dara Doyle in Dublin at ddoyle1@bloomberg.net; Louisa Nesbitt in Dublin at lnesbitt@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Keith Campbell at k.campbell@bloomberg.net; Riad Hamade at rhamade@bloomberg.net

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