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Chloe Shakesby

Multi-million pound Hovis acquisition sees Leeds equity firm take slice of food sector

A British bread brand has been acquired by a Yorkshire private equity firm following a bidding war.

Hovis, which was owned by London-based Premier Foods and US company Gores Group, has now been purchased by Leeds private equity firm Endless.

The deal, which is for an undisclosed sum, has been estimated to be worth around £100m, with Premier, which had a 49 per cent stake in Hovis, set to receive proceeds of £37m.

Garry Wilson, managing partner of Endless, said: “The Endless team have worked tirelessly in recent weeks to secure this acquisition.

“It’s not often a chance comes along to own an iconic business and brand like Hovis and we are thrilled to be the new custodians.

“We intend to invest heavily in the business to expand the product range whilst ensuring that the bread which millions of customers have grown to love is delivered fresh every day, pandemic or no pandemic.”

Endless said in a statement: “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.”

Nish Kankiwala, Hovis’ CEO added: “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.”

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