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Kerry Group mulls options for consumer food unit – Bloomberg

Packaged food company Kerry Group PLC is exploring a sale or a spinoff in part or full for its consumer food business, Kerry Foods, in order to free up funds for acquisitions, Bloomberg News reported Dec. 18, citing people familiar with the matter.

Kerry Foods' portfolio includes meat and dairy assets such as Dairygold spreads, Richmond sausages and Cheestrings snacks and is valued in the "billions of euros." The sources said the unit's non-dairy consumer food assets are easier to sell and could attract interest from private equity firms.

Kerry Group could use any proceeds to pursue acquisitions in its core food ingredients business, the report said.

Separately, The Irish Times reported that the company hired Bank of America Merrill Lynch to discuss potential options for Kerry Foods. It may opt to sell its chilled meat and convenience meals assets and spin off the dairy business into a joint venture with its majority shareholder, Kerry Co-Operative Creameries Ltd.

Kerry Group did not immediately respond to S&P Global Market Intelligence's request for a comment.