A Thai food company is gearing up for a £2.5bn acquisition of Birds Eye, the maker of Birds Eye fish fingers.
The proposed acquisition by Bangkok-based Charoen Pokphand Foods will mean that Birds Eye will be the next British household name to be acquired by an Asian company. It follows the recent takeover of Weetabix by China's Bright Food for £1.2bn.
It was disclosed last year that private equity firm Permira was planning to offload Birds Eye, whose chief executive is former PepsiCo marketer Martin Glenn.
Birds Eye last year sold 2.2bn fish fingers and registered £1.2bn in sales.
It frozen fish products, Captain Birds Eye fish fingers and Birds Eye's Bake to Perfection, registered sales of £29.2m and £26.2m respectively in the year ending 2011, leading the frozen fish category. Birds Eye has an overall workforce of 2,500.
Birds Eye said it didn't comment on speculation.
It is thought that Charoen Pokphand Foods believes there is a big appetite for Bird’s Eye fish fingers and other products across Asia.