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Uniq PLC (UNIQ)

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Friday 26 June, 2009

Uniq PLC

Disposal

RNS Number : 5645U
Uniq PLC
26 June 2009
 





Uniq plc

26 June 2009

For Immediate Release


UNIQ PLC ("Uniq")

 

Proposed disposal of French business for €73 million

 

Uniq, the European convenience foods group, announces that it has received a binding offer for the sale of its French business, Marie SAS ("Marie"), from Groupe L.D.C ("LDC"), the leading French poultry and delicatessen group ("the Proposed Disposal"). The transaction requires prior consultation with the Works Council of Marie (the "French Works Council") in accordance with French law.

 


HIGHLIGHTS 

 

  • LDC has offered 60 million 51 million) for the acquisition of 100 per cent of the shares of Marie. The consideration would be payable in cash on completion subject to €6.0 million being held in escrow for 18 months.


  • LDC would assume responsibility for the net debt in Marie that has an average level of 13 million (£11 million). 


  • Total enterprise value of €73 million (£62 million) represents a multiple of 5.8 times Marie's EBITDA of €12.6 million (£10.0 million) for the year ended 31 December 2008. 


  • Net proceeds, after costs, would be applied to pay down £25m of bank borrowings and cancel the related facilities, with a further £10 million available to support the retained businesses. The balance would be set aside for future investment opportunities and/or reducing the net UK pension deficit.


  • Proposed Disposal subject to:


  • Competition authority clearance in France


  • Approval of Uniq shareholders



DESCRIPTION OF MARIE BUSINESS  


Marie is a French manufacturer of chilled and frozen convenience foods, including pizza, quiches, pies and tarts, pancakes, individual quick frozen foods and ready meals. It has six manufacturing sites in France. Marie made an operating profit of 3.4 million (£2.7 million) in the year ended 31 December 2008 and at that date had net assets of 58 million (£56 million) and gross assets of 167 million (£161 million).




Commenting on the Proposed Disposal, Geoff Eaton, Chief Executive of Uniq, said: 

 


"The proposed disposal of Marie to LDC would facilitate consolidation of the French market and we are delighted with this potential outcome of the disposal process we announced in March. The resultant reduction of our debt would strengthen our balance sheet and would be a significant step towards focusing Uniq on the UK and enabling us to concentrate our resources on building a strong platform for the future."
Following satisfactory completion of the French Works Council consultation process, Uniq would enter into a sale and purchase agreement and dispatch a circular to shareholders giving details of the transaction and containing notice of a general meeting
.


Note: £/€ exchange rate of 1.17 as of 25 June 2009 has been used for translating the values relating to this transaction. Historic information has been translated at the appropriate prevailing rates.


Uniq's results for the half year to 30 June 2009 will be announced on 30 July 2009.

 

 

For further information:


Uniq plc:

Geoff Eaton

Martin Beer 

Telephone No. +44 (0) 175 327 6011 

 

Investec Investment Banking:

Clifford Halvorsen

Patrick Robb

Telephone No. +44 (0) 207 597 5970


Hogarth Partnership Ltd: 

Julian Walker 

Telephone No. +44 (0) 207 645 3988 

 



26 June 2009 

 



This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange
 
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