Barden leaves Northern Foods

Posted on 29 Nov 2010 by The Manufacturer

Northern Foods – soon to be joined with fellow food producer Greencore Group – has announced the departure of chief executive Stefan Barden, with group finance director Simon Herrick taking on the role in the lead up to the merger.

Earlier this month it was announced that Northern Foods of the UK and Ireland’s Greencore have agreed an equal share merger, subject to approval by shareholders and the relevant authorities. Together the two companies will become Essenta Foods and will be headed up by Greencore CEO Patrick Coveney, with Simon Herrick as group finance director.

Thus, Barden leaves his position at Northern Foods as of November 30. “It has been a privilege to lead Northern Foods and our employees during the past four years,” he said. “Together we have stabilised the business and created a platform for growth. I believe that the proposed merger with Greencore Group plc is a great result for customers, retailers, the food industry and the shareholders of both companies. I wish Patrick Coveney and the new Essenta team the very best for the future.”

Anthony Hobson, Chairman of Northern Foods plc, said: “The Board is grateful to Stefan for his successful leadership of the business over the past four years, which has helped to facilitate the merger with Greencore Group plc. Simon is well qualified to lead the business through the merger period, ably supported by the strong leaders of our Branded and Chilled divisions.”

Hobson will continue as chairman for Essenta.

The merger, expected to be completed during the second quarter of 2011, creates a company with annual sales of £1.7bn and some 17,000 employees. The companies expect annual cost savings of £40m as a result of the union, through savings on overheads, supply chain improvements and tax efficiencies.

Northern Foods’ key brands include Fox’s biscuits and Goodfellas pizza. Greencore produces Bisto and Heinz products under license as well as its own range of fresh packed and convenience meals, sandwiches, soups and other snacks.