Premier Foods Says Takeover Talks With McCormick Are Progressing

Premier Foods Plc said takeover talks with McCormick & Co. are progressing, as the two companies discuss a potential deal that would give the U.S. spice processor ownership of a stable of British gravy brands, cooking sauces and dessert mixes.

The U.K. food maker will meet with its biggest investors over the coming days, Premier said in a statement Wednesday. Dialogue with McCormick on issues such as Premier’s pension plans has been constructive, Premier said, adding there’s no certainty any offer will be made.

Premier has rejected three advances from McCormick since February, with the latest one being 65 pence a share in cash, or 1.5 billion pounds ($2.2 billion). McCormick has said it plans to extend the reach of Premier brands such as Mr. Kipling cakes and Bisto gravy internationally.

Premier shares rose as much as 4.5 percent to 58 pence in London.

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