Hovis joint venture gains EC approval

Premier Foods has been granted competition approval by the European Commission for the deal it struck in January to partly hive off its bread business in a joint venture.

Hovis Limited is the name of the new joint venture, operated by both Premier and American investor The Gores Group. The transaction is expected to complete by the end of April 2014.

The US firm paid £30m for a 51% stake in the unit. The two companies will jointly invest £45m to “reinvigorate the Hovis brand, building on its strong heritage”. Premier said it would invest the sale proceeds into its grocery business.

Premier Foods spent £28m last year on restructuring its bread business after closing two mills and three bakeries, and losing several contracts.

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