PRUDENTIAL Investment Managers, the largest shareholder in Sovereign Foods, with a 22.3% stake, says it is “not wedded” to its Sovereign investment, and would consider any fair offer for the shares.

In a veiled reference to recent attempts by Country Bird Holdings executive director Kevin James to persuade some of Sovereign’s institutional shareholders to sell, Prudential spokeswoman Lynn Bolin said the offer would have to be a public one, and the company would “not negotiate through backroom discussions”.

It gave no indication of what would constitute a “fair value”, only that Prudential was “determined to protect shareholder value”. Other Sovereign shareholders indicated that the price needed to sell could range between 850c and R12.

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