THE chairman of Premier Foods today announced his intention to stand down after six years at the helm of the Mr Kipling-to-Hovis food producer.
David Kappler, who is a former finance director at Cadbury Schweppes, has held the position since the company floated on the stock market in 2004.
His tenure has seen a number of well-known household brands added to the Premier portfolio, including Oxo, Batchelors and Homepride after the £460 million deal in 2006 to buy Campbell’s UK and Irish business.
That was followed by the acquisition of RHM in March 2007, a £1.2 billion deal that transformed the business but also saddled it with huge debts. RHM owned Hovis, Sharwoods, Bisto and Mr Kipling among other brands.
Premier reduced its debt pile to around £1.4 billion last year after it raised £379 million in an equity fundraising.
Mr Kappler said the group was now in a strong position and "well placed for the future".
He added: "After six hugely enjoyable years at Premier Foods, I have decided that this is an appropriate time for me to stand down."
Mr Kappler will leave the company once his successor has been identified.