One of the most well-known food brands of Britain, Hovis, is apparently up for grabs, with numerous food groups vying to purchase the same. Reliable reports claim that the food brand could very well be worth more than GBP 100 million.
Numerous companies, including Endless, Aurelius Equity Opportunities, and Epiris – the company that recently purchased restaurant chains Café Rouge and Bella Italia, are in competition to buy Hovis and have put forth indicative offers for the same.
More than 2,700 people work at Hovis. The company is rather focused on its bakery operations, and in 2018, it had sold two flour mills.
Neither of its major rivals in the UK may be given permission to purchase Hovis, on account of competition reasons. As per food analysts, the company may command a valuation between GBP 100 million and GBP 150 million.
Hovis was apparently established in 1886 and since, then, the company has carved out a unique niche for itself in the Britain food industry. The brand cultivated a typical home-grown image with its television advert of 1973that depicted a boy pushing his bike laden with loaves, atop a steep hill. Last year, the commercial was named UK’s most iconic one, in a poll.
However, similar to other bread producers, the company has been facing a lot of challenges with the category as more and more consumers are shifting to bread-free diets. Hovis has around 28% market share in pre-packaged and branded bread.
It struck a deal with Premier in 2014, when Gores paid GBP 30 million for its stake. Half of this was deferred and contingent on the firm’s future performance. It was also speculated that around GBP 200 million will be invested in Hovis over the course of the next half a decade so as to enhance its operational infrastructure and also reinvigorate the brand.
Partly, Premier’s strained balance sheet and Hovis’s declining fortunes have been responsible for the sale of other notable brands since the last ten years.
Presently, Hovis is run by Nish Kankiwala, who was formerly an executive at Pepsico and Burger King.