Mr Kipling target Turrell smells of roses instead | Business News
A consumer goods veteran shortlisted to become the boss of Mr Kipling’s maker has pulled out of its selection process to run the world’s largest grower of roses.
Sky News understands that Giles Turrell will be named in the coming days as group chief executive of Afriflora and Flamingo Horticulture, which supply Britain’s biggest supermarket chains.
Sources said that Mr Turrell would become group chief executive of the two businesses, which are both majority-owned by Sun Capital Partners, a private equity investor.
The appointment will put in charge of the flower suppliers a prominent figure in the UK’s consumer goods sector.
Between them, Afriflora and Flamingo – previously called Finlays Horticulture Holdings – employ thousands of people, with much of their combined workforce in Africa.
Their customers include Marks & Spencer, Tesco and Waitrose.
Sources said the long-term goal of Sun Capital could be to float the combined group.
It means that Mr Turrell is no longer a contender to replace Gavin Darby as chief executive of Premier Foods, the maker of Mr Kipling and Bisto gravy.
A former executive at the Kleenex maker Kimberly-Clark, Mr Turrell spent six years as Weetabix’s boss, a stint which saw the company sold first to Chinese group Bright Food and then, in 2017, to Post Holdings.
Since stepping down as Weetabix’s chief executive, he has explored a number of private equity-backed deals, including spearheading an attempt by Goldman Sachs last year to buy Andrex and Kleenex.
His withdrawal from Premier Foods’ search process leaves the heavily indebted food manufacturer still hunting for a new chief.
Earlier this year, Premier Foods announced that it was launching a review of its strategic options aimed at unlocking value for shareholders.
Premier’s new chairman, Keith Hamill, also said he would invite two rebel investors – Oasis Management and Paulson & Co – into its boardroom following months of fractious relations.
Last year, Oasis lost a vote to oust Mr Darby by 59% to 41% after accusing him of destroying shareholder value during his tenure.
A spokesman for Sun Capital declined to comment.