17 May 1999
Bids split Hillsdown board

THE Hillsdown Holdings board is split into two camps on two bids which have been made for diversified conglomerate, which includes a number of poultry interests.

Chairman Sir John Nott, together with two other independent directors, have recommended a £464 million cash bid from Hicks, Muse, Tate and Furst of the USA.

But executive board members, led by chief executive Michael Teacher, have continued talks towards a British-sponsored management buyout.

The US group has indicated that it plans to build up Hillsdown with further acquisitions, overseen by food industry consultancy C Dean Metropoulos.

Unigate pulled out of a bid to buy Hillsdown last summer after trading worries. The company has since embarked on a plan to break itself up and return cash to shareholders.