Hedge fund firm Paulson & Co has increased its total interest in UK-based Premier Foods from 7% to 11.9%.

This move comes less than three months after Premier Foods announced that its CEO Gavin Darby would be stepping down after a shareholder revolt, as well as its plans to divest the Ambrosia Custard brand.

The revolt was led by activist hedge fund Oasis Management, which urged for an overhaul of Premier Foods’ management. Oasis Management holds a 17.3% stake in the company.

Investors blamed Darby for a failed acquisition bid by US-based ingredients manufacturer McCormick & Company in 2016. In 2018, Paulson called for the replacement of the CEO and for a new strategy.

Darby resigned on 31 January 2019.

“Group sales dipped by 2.2% to £255.6m for this period, which is a loss of £5.8m compared to the previous year.”

In the firm’s annual general meeting in July 2018, Darby retained his position in a vote due to support from Nissin Foods.

Japan-based Nissin Foods is the largest stakeholder in Premier Foods, holding an interest of 19.6%.

In January 2019, Premier’s chief financial officer Alastair Murray was appointed as acting CEO.

In its Q3 trading statement for the 13 weeks leading to 29 December 2018, Premier Foods witnessed a sales drop despite the continued growth of its key brands.

Group sales dipped by 2.2% to £255.6m for this period, which is a loss of £5.8m compared to the previous year, due to decreased sales in the lower margin non-branded sweet treats.

The growth of the Mr Kipling brand helped to boost Premier’s sales. The branded sweet treats segment grew by  2.7%, while UK grocery sales rose 2.7% helped by increased sales of Batchelors brand.