LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The following is a statement by Oasis Management Company Ltd.
Oasis Management Company Ltd. (“Oasis”), the largest independent shareholder in Premier Foods plc (“Premier Foods” or “the Company”) with a 9.34% stake, today releases an analysis of the stakeholder and shareholder benefits of Premier Foods selling the Batchelors brand and estimates that a sale would result in a material share price increase (of up to 125%). As a result, Oasis urges the Board of Premier Foods to place Batchelors in an open auction run by an independent investment bank.
Using conservative assumptions, Oasis believes that the sale of Batchelors, a brand with 123 years of heritage, a turnover of c.£85m (broker-estimated), and which is growing at 13% per year (as of H2 2017/18), would generate more than £200m of proceeds, or more than 60% of the current market capitalisation of the Company.
The sale of Batchelors would enable Premier Foods to reduce leverage (net debt/EBITDA) to below 3.0x, achieving the company’s stated financial goal in a single stroke. Circa. 50% of the Company’s operating cash flow is currently allocated to servicing the Company’s expensive debt. A sale would reduce interest costs at Premier Foods by more than 65%, increase the Company’s annualised profit before tax and allow the Company to strengthen its three pension schemes and invest in its ongoing business. Oasis believes that a sale of Batchelors would reduce the Company’s risk for all of its key stakeholders.
A presentation outlining the calculations and assumptions is available at www.premierleadershipforpremierfoods.com.
A spokesperson for Oasis said:
“Selling Batchelors would put Premier Foods on a solid footing and strengthen the Company for the benefit of all of its key stakeholders including staff, pension scheme members and shareholders in one single swoop. Oasis does not seek for any of the proceeds to be directly returned to shareholders but instead be used to de-risk the company and improve its business and long term prospects. We fail to understand why the current CEO does not understand this.”
Oasis Management Company Ltd. manages private investment funds focused on opportunities in a wide array of asset classes across countries and sectors. Oasis was founded in 2002 by Seth H. Fischer, who leads the firm as its Chief Investment Officer. More information about Oasis is available at oasiscm.com.