Activist Paulson takes bigger slice of Britain's Premier Foods

Activist Paulson takes bigger slice of Britain's Premier Foods
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(Reuters) - Hedge fund Paulson & Co has tripled its stake in Britain's Premier Foods Plc <PFD.L>, making it the third largest shareholder in the company ahead of a crunch annual meeting next week.

The meeting on July 18 could determine the fate of Gavin Darby, chief executive of the maker of Oxo cubes and Mr Kipling cakes.

The hedge fund led by billionaire investor John Paulson said it held a stake of 6.08 percent in Premier Foods as of July 6, up from 1.99 percent disclosed earlier.

Darby has been asked to step down by the company's second largest shareholder Oasis Management which has called on shareholders to vote against his re-election at the annual meeting.

However, influential shareholder advisory firms ISS, Glass Lewis and Pensions & Investment Research Consultants have backed Darby, who has been in the role since 2013.

Premier Foods has been under shareholder pressure since it rejected a twice-improved 65 pence per share takeover bid from U.S. food-maker McCormick in 2016. Its shares traded at 40.30 pence by 1150 GMT on Monday.

Japan's Nissin Foods <2897.T> is the largest shareholder in Premier with a stake of 19.5 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data.

(Reporting by Sangameswaran S in Bengaluru; Editing by Keith Weir)

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