Northern Foods confirms rival bid

READY meals specialist Northern Foods confirmed it has received an approach from food tycoon Ranjit Boparan, boosting its shares today, although it reiterated support for a planned merger with Ireland's Greencore.

Leeds-based Northern Foods, the UK's biggest maker of Christmas puddings, said that Boparan Holdings approached it on December 17 requesting information.

However, it has not yet made an offer proposal to the Northern Foods board.

Boparan, a supplier of chickens to supermarkets and the company behind the Harry Ramsden chain of fish and chip shops, could be looking to threaten the proposed $790m tie-up between Northern Foods and Greencore announced in November.

Shares in Northern Foods gained over seven per cent this morning.