Birds Eye owner, Iglo Group, sold to American firm

Birds Eye products Image copyright Iglo Group

The company behind the Birds Eye and Findus brands, Iglo Group, is being sold for €2.6bn (£1.9bn) to US investment vehicle Nomad Holdings.

Iglo Group, Europe's biggest frozen food business, has been owned by the private equity firm Permira for the past eight years after it bought the business from Unilever.

Nomad was set up last year to build a portfolio of branded food businesses and this is its first purchase.

Permira will retain a minority stake.

Nomad is run by US investors Martin Franklin and Noam Gottesman.

"We took a highly disciplined approach to evaluating opportunities for Nomad's initial investment," said Mr Franklin, Nomad's Co-Founder.

"During this process, it was abundantly clear that Iglo Group was a natural fit from both a strategic and a financial standpoint.

"This is a well-run business that has cemented itself as a leader in an attractive, yet highly fragmented sector, which paves the way for both organic and inorganic growth opportunities."

Iglo's chief executive, Elio Leoni Sceti, will leave his post in June.

Mr Sceti is set to become the new chief executive of the beauty firm Coty. Nomad said a search for his replacement was underway and expected to announce a new appointment "in the near future". Mr Sceti will become a non-executive director.

Iglo's largest markets are the UK, Italy, Germany and Austria.