The Findus Group began as Elizabeth Young’s whitebait stall in Greenwich in 1805 and is now one of Europe’s biggest frozen and chilled-food groups. An estimated 20m people eat its products each week and Findus claims its Admiral’s Pie is Britain’s best-selling ready meal. Its subsidiaries include Young’s and the Seafood Company. Lion Capital, a private equity house, backed a £1.1 billion buyout from Capvest in 2008, but has had to inject more cash to fund Findus’s £700m debt pile and it remains in talks with its lenders. Sales under chief executive Chris Britton reached £1.1 billion in 2010.
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