Birds Eye
Birds Eye frozen Shepherd's Pie meals are seen in a grocery store in LondonReuters

Iglo Foods Holdings, Europe's biggest frozen food business known for its brands such as Birds Eye and Findus, is being acquired by Nomad Holdings for about €2.6bn (£1.9bn, $2.8bn).

London-listed Nomad, a company formed to pursue acquisitions, said it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Iglo Foods from a company backed by Permira funds.

Iglo Group has manufacturing operations in the UK, Germany and Italy and makes more than 1,000 products across the fish, vegetables, meat, meals and other segments. The company is headquartered in the UK with about 2,800 employees across Europe.

Nomad said the acquisition is part of its plan to build a portfolio of best-in-class companies and brands within existing, as well as new, categories. It intends to pursue "strategic and complementary" acquisitions in order to enhance its consumer offering and deepen its market leadership.

"Iglo Group's strong brands are clear market leaders in frozen food, and the Company's innovative and customer-centric approach will continue to drive organic growth and superior returns within the industry," said Noam Gottesman, Nomad's co-founder.

"The group's scale, cash-generative profile, and experienced management team make it an ideal foundation for us to build up a world-class, global consumer foods company through a prudent M&A strategy."

"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," said Martin Franklin, another co-founder.

The transaction is expected to be funded through a combination of Nomad's cash on hand, equity and proceeds from a $750m private placement. Upon closing of the transaction, Nomad intends to change its name to Nomad Foods Limited.

Nomad's shares and warrants are currently suspended from trading on the London Stock Exchange. The company will apply for re-admission of the shares for trading after closing the transaction. Subsequently, it plans to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange.