NOMAD Foods, which owns Birds Eye, has unveiled a share deal to raise $330 million to expand its food and seafood empire.
Nomad, which acquired the Birds Eye fish finger owner Iglo from Permira for 2.6 billion euros (£1.9 million) euros two months ago, is thought to be targeting Findus.
The two founders and owners of the company, Martin E Franklin and Noam Gottesman, set up a cash shell last year to build up a major consumer food group.
Nomad has already declared it is in preliminary talks with Findus but stressed at the time that they may not come to anything. But this share move suggests they are making progress.
However, any deal will not include Young’s Seafood, which is currently owned by Findus. Young’s said as much in a statement two weeks ago.
Nomad Foods said that it would sell 15 million shares, around 9.9pc of its $3.3 billion vehicle, to ‘fund potential future acquisition opportunities’.
The group also revealed it was planning to ditch London in favour of a New York stock exchange listing.
A statement from Nomad Foods said: ‘Following Nomad’s anchor acquisition of Iglo, the company believes that it has an excellent platform from which to build an integrated group of best-in-class companies and brands within existing, as well as new, related categories.
‘On top of exciting organic growth initiatives within Iglo, the company has a pipeline of potential strategic and complementary acquisitions intended to enhance its product offering and deepen its market leadership.
‘The company believes that this placing will provide it with additional funding capacity, enabling it to capitalise upon its scale and financial strength to drive future growth and returns.’
The founders of Nomad are recognised as having an excellent track record in creating value through strategic investments and acquisitions.