RHM appoints FD ahead of IPO bid

RHM Group, the venture capital-backed food company that makes Hovis breads, Sharwood’s sauces and Bisto instant gravy, has hired Financial Dynamics as the company’s new management prepares for a possible IPO next year.

The appointment comes as RHM’s new management pushes through structural changes in preparation for the flotation and confirms the end of College Hill Association’s two-year relationship with the firm.

The move also follows a shake-up in RHM’s management that saw group CEO Ian McMahon join from ICI last year and group finance director Michael Schurch become the group’s new strategy director in March, to make way for former Enodis CEO Andrew Allner.

FD has initially been engaged to handle RHM’s corporate PR. However, it is possible that FD will also be called in to handle VC firm Doughty Hanson’s sale of the firm, which was originally scheduled for 2002.

Doughty Hanson bought RHM from Tomkins in 2000 for £1.14bn. The firm had to scrap its subsequent flotation plans when equity markets became too volatile. RHM has not been listed since Tomkins bought up all the stock in 1992.

RHM posted a turnover of £1.75bn for the year to 3 May 2003, with pre-tax earnings of £115m.

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