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Hovis snapped up by UK-based private equity firm Endless in £75m deal

Struggling baker Hovis is snapped up by Leed-based private equity firm Endless in £75m deal

Hovis has been bought by a Leeds-based private equity firm for more than £75million.

Endless, which has previously invested in Crown Paints, Jones Bootmaker and the West Cornwall Pasty Company, edged out Italian grains and dairy business Newlat Food in a bidding war.

The 134-year-old British bread brand that was behind the much loved ‘Boy on the Bike’ TV advert, first aired in 1973, was owned by US investment firm The Gores Group and Mr Kipling cakes maker Premier Foods.

Bike round: The famous Hovis ‘Boy on the Bike’ TV advert, directed by Sir Ridley Scott, first aired in 1973

Premier said it would receive £37million for its 49 per cent share of the business, once other costs were taken into account, valuing Hovis in excess of £75.5million. 

Gores’s owner, American billionaire Alec Gores, 67, had reportedly been seeking a price tag of £100million.

Hovis was founded in Cheshire in 1886 when Macclesfield miller Richard ‘Stoney’ Smith found a way of milling that preserved the nutrients in the wheatgerm.

The name came from ‘hominis vis’, a Latin phrase meaning ‘strength of man’.

Now based in Buckinghamshire, Hovis has struggled against Warburtons and Kingsmill in recent years.

Endless also beat competition from turnaround groups, including private equity firms Aurelius Equity Opportunities and Epiris, which owns Bella Italia.

It promised ‘significant investment’ in Hovis, which employs 2,700 people.