Bread business Hovis is to get £200 million of investment under a deal that will hand a major chunk of the operation to an American firm.
Premier Foods, which has owned Hovis since March 2007, hopes the creation of a joint venture with private equity firm Gores Group will help to reinvigorate the Hovis business after a long period of disappointing sales.
Los Angeles-based Gores is paying £30m for a 51 per cent controlling stake in the Hovis and Mothers Pride business, which has 4,000 staff at ten bakeries and five flour mills.
The deal is expected to unlock £200m in investment over the next five years, as well as enable Premier Foods to focus on its other brands such as Mr Kipling and Bisto.
Hovis began advertising on British television in 1956.