The name came from Thompson's house Hillsdown. In 1981 it acquired Lockwood Foods, a canned foods business. We manufacture some of the nation's favourite food brands including Hovis bread, Mr Kipling cakes, Sharwood's Asian foods, Batchelors soups, Loyd Grossman sauces, Bisto gravy, Quorn meat free products, Ambrosia custard and rice pudding, Branston pickle and Hartley's jams, marmalades and jellies. Premier Foods is the UK's largest food producer. You'll find our Bread, Cakes, Preserves, Convenience Foods, Desserts, Meat-Free Foods, Sauces, Stocks, Gravies, Flour, Ready Meals, Meat Pies and Desserts in every British kitchen. The structure of the Group has been transformed from a large number of small businesses to three strategic divisions: Grocery, Hovis and Chilled. The company was founded by Harry Solomon and David Thompson in 1975 as Hillsdown Holdings.
Our most recent major acquisitions (Campbell's in 2006 and RHM in 2007) provided us with a step change in scale and increased competitive edge in each of the three key areas identified above. In 1986, it bought various food businesses from Beechams and in 1990 it acquired Premier Brands which included Typhoo and Cadbury's drinks. It was bought by the private equity company Hicks, Muse, Tate and Furst in 1999. In 2002, it bought Nestlé's ambient foods business. It was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2004. In February 2005, Premier Foods acquired from Kraft Foods their ambient desserts businesses including Bird's custard and Angel Delight.
In October 2005, Premier Foods launched Branston Baked Beans. The marketing and promotion of this product was aimed squarely at challenging Heinz's dominance of the UK baked bean market. We implemented a new divisional structure following the acquisitions of the Campbell's and RHM businesses in 2006 and 2007 respectively. The primary drivers of the structure are the commonality of the categories we operate in and the supply chain required to service them.
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