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Heinz said in deal talks |

Heinz said in deal talks

| Tuesday, December 9, 2008 12:00 a.m

The H.J. Heinz Co. is in discussions with the United Kingdom’s largest food producer, Premier Foods Plc, to acquire its Sharwood’s Asian sauces unit, the London Daily Telegraph reported. The newspaper, citing anonymous sources, said that Heinz approached Premier several weeks ago and was at first rebuffed. Premier CEO Robert Schofield is believed to be under pressure to reduce the company’s $2.5 billion in debt, but he’s publicly stated he won’t sell off any of what he calls his “crown” jewel” brands, although Sharwood’s didn’t make the list. Heinz spokesman Michael Mullen said “Heinz doesn’t comment on market speculation.”

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