Banks Hired to Weigh Sale of Iceland Foods

UBS and Bank of America Merrill Lynch have been brought on to evaluate a possible sale of Landsbanki‘s majority stake in British frozen-food retailer Iceland Foods, Reuters reported. The Icelandic bank began seeking advisers for the 1 billion pound ($1.59 billion) -plus sale in January. It owns 67 percent, Reuters said.

(Reuters) – UBS and Bank of America Merrill Lynch have been hired to evaluate a possible sale of Landsbanki’s majority stake in British frozen-food retailer Iceland Foods, the failed Icelandic bank said.

In a statement on its website, Landsbanki Islands hf’s [LDBSD.UL] resolution committee said the two banks would help assess its options for the stake, and provide “a recommendation for or against a sale at the present time”.

The Icelandic bank began seeking advisers for the 1 billion pound ($1.59 billion) -plus sale in January. It owns 67 percent. Management, including Iceland Foods founder and chief executive Malcolm Walker, own about 24 percent.

In April the Financial Times said the chain could interest some of Britain’s biggest retailers, as it offers buyers one of the last chances to acquire a large portfolio of UK stores.

The FT said suitors could include Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc , J Sainsbury Plc , Wal-Mart Stores Inc’s Asda, private equity groups, and possibly Tesco Plc , although it could face competition issues.

($1=.6274 pounds)

(Reporting by Quentin Webb; Editing by Greg Mahlich)