Hovis is being positioned for sale, with investment bank Goldman Sachs brought in to seek out buyers, it has been reported.

Premier Foods has enlisted the help of the global banking firm to “sound out buyers” for its Hovis brand, according to Sky News. It said bankers have speculated that “it could make sense to sell the Hovis brand and the rest of the bread division to separate buyers”.

British Baker confirmed yesterday that Allied Bakeries had won the £75m own-label bread contract lost by Premier Foods – with rumours already mounting that the food group was looking at options to sells its bread business.

Earlier this month Premier said that due to the different challenges and opportunities facing its grocery and bread businesses, they would in future be managed as two distinct divisions.  

For bread, the key focus would be on how to unlock future value for the category, as well as addressing the category challenges faced by the division, said Premier.

A spokesperson for Premier Foods acknowledged there had been a number of rumours regarding the potential sale of the Hovis brand, but said the firm could not comment on these reports.