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

·1-min read
FILE PHOTO: Loaves of Hovis bread are pictured on the shelves of a supermarket in Manchester
FILE PHOTO: Loaves of Hovis bread are pictured on the shelves of a supermarket in Manchester

MILAN (Reuters) - Italian food group Newlat Food <NWLF.MI> 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 <PFD.L> 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 to buy Hovis, a source close to the matter had told Reuters.

(Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari; editing by Valentina Za)