18 January 2001
Uniq boss quits amid Malton rumours

By FWi staff

SIR Ross Buckland is standing down as chief executive of Uniq amid rumours that the group once known as Unigate is selling its Malton pig business.

Sir Ross, who had been in the job 10 years, said the group still intended to demerge in the spring, according to a report in Financial Times.

The newspaper says that he wants to stay to assist with the separation of the food business from its logistics division until April.

But analysts are quoted as saying this would not quell rumours that Uniq will receive a takeover bid from a private equity firm.

The company issued a statement last month denying talks with financial backers about a management buyout.

But the FT repeats recent claims that Uniq wants to sell its Malton pig processing business, which has suffered heavy losses recently

It has closed a number of abattoirs and processing plants in the last two years.

Sir Ross said Terry Stannard – who runs the groups convenience food business – would be chief executive of the “new Uniq”.

The company sold its Unigate Dairies to Dairy Crest Group in July 2000, adopting the Uniq name to reflect the change.