Premier Foods, the manufacturer of Mr Kipling and Cadbury cakes, has revealed it is to write off its £8m investment in Hovis.

The company said it would retain its 49% stake in the company and maintain the joint venture.

British Baker has contacted Premier Foods as to the reasons behind the move and is awaiting a response.

Premier Foods split off its bread business, including Hovis, in early 2014 to run as a separate joint venture with US company Gores Group.

Meanwhile, Premier Foods has rejected two takeover bids from US spice brand company McCormick, which Premier said undervalued the company.

An unsolicited offer of 52p per share on 12 February was followed by a higher offer of 60p on 14 March. McCormick now has until 20 April to make a higher offer, but Premier Foods refused to speculate on whether it would be receptive to such an approach.

David Beever, Premier’s chairman, said: “McCormick’s proposal represents an attempt to capture the upside value embedded in Premier’s business that rightfully belongs to Premier’s shareholders.

“The proposal fails to recognise the value of Premier’s performance to date and prospects for the future, including the strategic plans we have to accelerate growth.”

Premier Foods owns many UK household brands, including Mr Kipling, Homepride, Oxo and Bisto.

McCormick describes its products as “saving your world from boring food”.