Speculation that Noble Foods is to be sold

Noble Foods’ owners Peter Dean and Michael Kent are in talks with private equity investors and overseas rivals about a possible sale, according to newspaper reports.

Noble Foods, by volume Britain’s largest egg producer, collects 72m eggs a week from 350 farms and delivers them mainly to supermarkets. The unlisted firm owns brands The Happy Egg Co and Big & Fresh, as well as luxury pudding label Gü – though it is understood that this is not up for sale. The company could be valued at £400m, according to a report in The Sunday Times.

Deans Foods merged with its biggest competitor Stonegate in June 2006 to form Noble Foods. According to the latest accounts filed for the year ending 30 September 2011, profits almost halved to £11.91m compared with £22.7m the year before on sales of £595m.

The accounts highlighted rising input and regulatory costs contributing to the drop in profits.

Noble Foods declined to comment.

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