Belfast Telegraph

Greencore may be jilted at the altar

T he proposed merger of Goodfella's owner Northern Foods with Irish company Greencore may well have been a marriage of convenience, with the clumsy married name of Essenta chosen to cement the alliance.

But now the high-profile transaction looks in doubt after it emerged that Harry Ramsden owner Ranjit Boparan is preparing a bid for Northern Foods.

Mr Boparan, who first made his fortune in chicken, owns 6.6% of Northern Foods. It said it was approached by Boparan Holdings last week, and asked for information on Greencore.

It's not clear how much Mr Boparan is prepared to pay - and it's quite possible that it's not enough to tempt Northern Foods to diverge from the aisle bringing it to Greencore. Northern Foods is still recommending shareholders to vote for the Greencore union.

Boparan said it was evaluating a possible cash offer for Northern Foods, with shares in the latter jumping to 65p at the juicy prospect of a bid-battle.

Mr Boparan may yet be successful, leaving a rejected Greencore jilted at the altar.