July 2, 2018 / 9:18 AM / a year ago

Activist fund Oasis has candidates to replace Premier Foods top boss

FILE PHOTO: Boxes of OXO stock cubes are seen in this illustration taken March 30, 2016. REUTERS/Phil Noble/Illustration/File Photo

(Reuters) - Activist investor Oasis Management said it has been approached by candidates for the position of Premier Foods’ (PFD.L) chief executive, as it steps up its campaign against the firm’s management.

Premier Foods has been under pressure to improve its performance since rejecting a 2016 takeover bid from U.S. food-maker McCormick (MKC.N) and Hong Kong-based Oasis wants to remove Chief Executive Gavin Darby.

“Oasis have CEO candidates who have approached us,  have excellent skills and are available immediately,” the investor said in an email on Monday.

Oasis, Premier’s second-largest shareholder with a 9.3 percent stake, raised the heat on the owner of brands including Mr Kipling cakes, questioning Premier’s board’s culture after its own chairman Keith Hamill called some of the British firm’s brands “weak cards”.

Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru, editing by Louise Heavens

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