Speculation continues around Vion

Speculation continues to mount over the potential break-up and sale of Vionís UK operation, with market commentators pointing towards various private equity-backed management buyouts.

The Dutch-owned co-operative announced last month that it was selling off its UK operations in a bid to concentrate on its core operations in the Netherlands and Germany. The business had been reporting losses on its UK business and had recently hit the headlines after announcing the closure of its pork processing business Hallís of Broxburn, West Lothian in Scotland.

Reports in the financial press suggest a deal for the pork unit is nearing completion, with the management buyout deal backed by Endless, a Leeds-based private equity firm. The news will be welcome to Vion, as insiders pointed out it was the pork unit that had been the main problem child for the business.

However, neither Vion nor Endless were prepared to comment on the deal as MTJ went to press.

As yet, there has been no news on deals with the red meat and poultry operations, but industry watchers are speculating over whether there might be some retailer involvement in any deal, as the big multiples look to further their interest in vertical integration of their operations.

Related News:

>Scottish pig producers face period of adjustment

>Industry shocked by Vion withdrawal from UK

>Scottish minister hopeful of buyer for Vion