The maker of Hovis bread could fall into Italian hands after Italy’s Newlat Food launched a bid to buy the 134-year-old firm.
In a statement on its website, Newlat said it had made a non-binding offer to shareholders of Hovis Holdings Ltd.
It described Hovis as a brand with “a great tradition and recognisability in the United Kingdom”.
Hovis is owned by Premier Foods and US investment firm the Gores Group, which bought a controlling stake in 2014.
Newlat said it was awaiting feedback from shareholders.
It added that buying Hovis would help it to achieve its aim of becoming one of the most important operators in the food sector in Europe.
Based in High Wycombe, Hovis employs 2,800 people in eight bakeries, one flourmill and three distribution centres across the UK.