Moy Park £1bn float plan: Food giant tight-lipped over stock market listing move
Published 18/08/2014 | 03:59
Moy Park is working on plans for a £1bn London stock market listing, it has emerged.
The firm - Northern Ireland's biggest private sector employer - is being prepared for a float by Brazilian parent company Marfrig.
It is reported that Goldman Sachs, the Wall Street investment bank, will oversee the plans.
Last night Moy Park declined to comment on the move.
A spokesperson for the company said: "Moy Park is not making any comment on the recent coverage regarding speculation on a possible IPO (initial public offering)."
The food giant was founded in 1943 in Moygashel, Co Tyrone, and now employs around 11,500 people across Northern Ireland, the UK and Europe.
It supplies chicken to major retailers and food brands including Tesco, Waitrose and Jamie Oliver, and generates annual sales of over £1.2bn.
Moy Park issued £200m of bonds earlier this year, a move seen as a precursor to a float.
If it does go through the company would follow a long list of consumer goods and retail groups to float in London this year.
While fund managers piled into stocks like Poundland, B&M Retail and AO World earlier this year, the limp float of Saga in May suggested they were becoming more discerning about price and quality.
Janet McCollum became chief executive of Moy Park in January.
She later became the first woman to be in charge of a company which led the Belfast Telegraph's influential list of top 100 companies.
Since being set up in 1943, Moy Park has grown into a corporate giant with impressive international credentials. Its growth accelerated in the early 1960s when it began to supply chicken to supermarkets in Britain, and built new facilities in Moira.
Since EU expansion in 2004, it has provided employment to thousands of people from outside Northern Ireland who work in its factories in Dungannon, Ballymena and Craigavon.
The company was acquired by Marfrig in 2008 in a deal worth $680m (£407m) as the Brazilian company began to build a food empire around the globe.
This summer it was a key sponsor of the World Cup in Brazil, with Moy Park adverts seen by hundreds of millions of fans.
In July, Moy Park announced it would create 628 jobs across its three Northern Ireland sites in Dungannon, Craigavon and Ballymena. The move is part of an investment package worth £170m.
The posts will be created over the next four years.