Engineering conglomerate Tomkins is to demerge its European food manufacturing business, Rank Hovis McDougall, by early 2000, leaving the company to focus on engineering.
Tomkins’ components operations supply industrial, automotive and construction companies. In the year to 1 May 1999, these businesses made an operating profit of £307m on sales of £2.80bn.
Tomkins is expected to put Rank Hovis McDougall up for auction as a standalone business.
The entire European food operation employs 22,500 people and had sales of £1.96bn during 1998. The sale is not expected to result in any job losses or closures.
Tomkins is already committed to selling its independently managed US food business, Red Wing, in a separate deal.
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