Gu Puds, one of Britain’s best-known desserts brands, is being put up for sale by its privately owned parent company as homebound consumers comfort-eat their way through the coronavirus pandemic.
Sky News has learnt that Noble Foods, the giant egg producer, has asked bankers at Spayne Lindsay to run an auction of Gu.
Sources said the business could be valued at more than £100m, and was likely to attract bids from industry players as well as private equity firms.
Noble last explored a sale of Gu two years ago, when Nestle was among the prospective suitors.
The Swiss-based consumer goods giant also examined a bid for Gu in 2009, with rival Mars also expressing an interest.
Noble prevailed in that auction, however, and has owned the business for the last decade.
Gu is Britain’s biggest premium dessert-maker, with a 20% market share in the UK, while it also has a strong presence in markets such as France and Germany.
The latest sale plan comes as Noble’s new chief executive, Duncan Everett, formulates a revised strategy for the company.
Noble is one of the UK’s biggest egg producers, collecting eggs from hundreds of locations around the country.
It marked the centenary of its creation this year, having been founded in 1920 when William Dean began collecting eggs from smallholders in Hertfordshire.
Noble said it did not comment on speculation.