Premier Foods sells £37m stake in Hovis

Premier Foods has sold its 49% stake in bread maker Hovis to UK private equity firm Endless LLP, for £37m.

The company, which owned Hovis in conjunction with US-based private equity firm The Gores Group, will use the funds to the repay outstanding loan notes and accrued interest.

Back in 2018, Hovis sold the majority of its milling business in 2018 to focus on baking operations.

Endless previously owned and successfully realised Karro Food Group - the leading pork business - and currently owns BBF, a leading supplier of ambient cake products to the UK’s major grocers.

Hovis is a favoured consumer bread brand and is supported by its key customers and suppliers. It has seen strong growth in its branded market share and the business is well placed to capture further share of the UK’s £4bn overall bakery category. With headquarters in High Wycombe, the business employs circa.2,700 people and operates eight bakery sites, its own flour mill and a distribution network spanning the UK and Northern Ireland.

Under the current management team, Hovis has seen a significant up-turn in trading in the last four years and will continue to drive its strategy focused on delivering great quality products, customer value and service. Further investment agreed as part of the deal with Endless will allow the Hovis management team to make significant investment into the business infrastructure, growth of its branded range and other bakery products.

Nish Kankiwala, Hovis Chief Executive Officer, said, 'We are delighted to announce this agreement with Endless today. Based on our extensive engagement with Endless over the past several months, it became clear that both parties share a commitment to customers and colleagues and for building on Hovis’ heritage by investing in growing both the brand and product range.

'This shared vision makes Endless the best shareholder to support our ambitious plans. The acquisition will help drive our strategy for growth by bringing both strategic and operational value to Hovis. We are looking forward to working together to execute this strategy and to delivering the next phase of growth.'

Francesco Santinon, Partner at Endless, added, “Hovis is the instantly recognisable British bread brand with a strong and established heritage. We were extremely impressed by the management team and have great confidence in supporting and investing in its future as Hovis looks to achieve further expansion within the bakery category.”