Italy’s Newlat seeks exclusivity to resume talks to buy Hovis

MILAN, Nov 4 (Reuters) – Italian food group Newlat Food said on Wednesday it would ditch plans to acquire British bread maker Hovis unless it were granted an exclusive negotiation period to “quickly” finalise an accord.

Milan-listed Newlat last month said it had made a non-binding offer for 134-year old Hovis, which is owned by Premier Foods and The Gores Group.

Newlat said in a statement that it was still interested in the acquisition but it had informed Hovis’ shareholders that it did not intend to join in a competitive tender.

“The negotiation will be resumed only in the event that the shareholders of Hovis grant, on the basis of the non-binding offer, an exclusive negotiation period to Newlat Food,” it said.

Newlat was prepared to spend around 100 million pounds ($129 million) to buy Hovis, a source close to the matter had told Reuters. ($1 = 0.7732 pounds) (Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari; editing by Valentina Za)


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