09 September 1999
Tomkins plans food business sell-off

TOMKINS, the diversified engineering group, has plans to put Rank Hovis McDougall (RHM), its foods business, up for auction.

The move follows the breakdown of an agreement with Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst, the international leveraged buyout group that owns foods business Hillsdown Holdings.

The US group was unable to complete a deal within a specified two weeks.

RHMs household brands include Hovis, Mothers Pride, Robertsons jams and Bisto gravy.

Tomkins paid £950m for the business in 1992 although analysts have valued RHM at up to £1.6bn.

  • Financial Times 09/09/99 page 21