Premier said it had "engaged extensively" with McCormick to provide it with the information requested, adding that the board "appreciates the open and constructive spirit in which the engagement with McCormick was conducted".
Asking too much
McCormick, known for its namesake spices and Lawry's seasonings, first approached Premier Foods in February with a proposal at 52 pence per share, which Premier rejected as too low. McCormick then proposed 60 pence, which was also rejected.
When McCormick raised its proposal again to 65 pence, valuing Premier's equity at 537 million pounds ($774 million), Premier agreed to enter into talks and give McCormick access to its accounts to conduct a due diligence appraisal of the business.
Premier has a stable of very well-known and profitable brands, but it has been handicapped by big debt and pension obligations following an earlier acquisition spree.
Two major shareholders had criticised Premier's management for their handling of the situation, specifically the deal with Nissin that also saw the Japanese company become Premier's largest shareholder after it purchased a 17.3 percent stake from U.S. private equity firm Warburg Pincus at 63 pence per share.
Nissin has since raised its stake to 19.9 percent.