Premier Foods factories in Wisbech and Long Sutton are sold to Princes

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Major employer Premier Foods has sold its Wisbech and Long Sutton factories to Princes for £182 million.

The companies were in discussion about selling the East Anglian canned grocery operations, which employ around 1,600 people, from last November.

The sale, which depends on regulatory approval, is expected to be completed by late March.

Premier said it would use the proceeds to pay down group debt, which stood at £1.37 billion in June 2010.

Premier’s grocery business manufactures everything from baked beans, pasta and vegetables to soup, meat and fruit. Crosse & Blackwell, Farrows, Fray Bentos and Smedley’s brands are all included in the sale, although Premier is retaining its Ambrosia desserts business.