Linpac, the British packaging group specialising in the food sector, looks likely to be sold to a private equity group at a reported market value of £700 million (€986m).
According to a report in British newspaper The Times Montague Private Equity is currently the number one prospect to buy the group, which is owned by one of Britain's richest families, the Cornish.
After winning a three way auction at the end of last week, Montague has now won the right to enter into exclusive talks to buy Linpac. Including its current debts of £200 million, the deal is said to be worth £900 million.
Linpac has built its reputation as one of the country's leading food packagers and is currently a global entity with a workforce of 11,000. In recent years the company has been expanding into Asia where it has played a particular part in developing its interest in China. Currently one of its biggest customer's is fast food retailer McDonald's.
The company was formed in 1959 in Louth, Lincolnshire, to provide packaging for local food companies. In 2001 the company had sales of £1.1 billion in sales in 2001 and registered a profit of £46.7 million.