Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,518 pages of information and 233,949 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Ranks Hovis McDougall

From Graces Guide

Jump to: navigation, search

Ranks Hovis McDougall was a United Kingdom food business, later known by its initials RHM.

1962, under the leadership of J. Arthur Rank, Ranks Limited acquired the Hovis-McDougall Co and became Ranks Hovis McDougall.

Over time it owned a number of leading brands including:

1967 Opened new premises at the Group Research Centre at High Wycombe.

1968 Acquired Cerebos in an agreed take-over[1]. As well as being involved in agricultural products and raw materials, Cerebos owned brands such as Cerebos and Saxa salt, Bisto gravy, Paxo stuffing, Brands soups and pastes, Scott's porridge oats, Crampton gravy browning, Hugon (Atora) shredded suets, Sharwood's Indian, Chinese and SE Asian sauces, Stamina pet foods[2].

1969 The marketing of three companies in RHM was coordinated - namely Scotts-Energen Foods, Cerebos Foods and McDougall Foods[3]

1970 The RHM Research Centre at High Wycombe employed 200 scientists and technicians; work on food preservation and freeze drying, on convenience foods and in extended pilot plant facilities; also had opened plant studies laboratory to work on disease resistance in cereals; a commercial pilot at Ashford would demonstrate the processing of wheat into gluten and sugars; long-term project to produce protein from starch by fermentation had reached lab. pilot trial stage[4].

1971 Publicity for annual results described group as RHM Ranks Hovis McDougall

1971 RHM supplied a quarter of the bread sold in Britain, including Mothers Pride, Hovis and Nimble. The company had many other products including RHM Foods and its branded goods, cereal seeds, flour, and was even a supplier of armoured vehicles; the company was the world's only supplier of freeze-dried eggs using an accelerated process it had developed[5]

1972 Spillers acquired the business of Stamina Foods from Ranks Hovis McDougall for £lM. Stamina Foods was purchased for its 'own label' business; its factory at St Helens was closed prior to acquisition and the use of its brand names 'Stamina' and Taws' was subsequently discontinued.

1972 The initials RHM were used more widely in describing the group; Joseph Rank Ltd was renamed RHM Flour Mills Ltd; British Bakeries Ltd renamed RHM Bakeries Ltd[6].

1977 Acquired US company Red Wing which was RHM's largest US investment[7].

1978 Acquired the baking operation of Spillers French Holdings

Late 1980s J. Lyons and Co sold Lyons Cakes to RHM; it ended up as part of RHM’s Manor Bakeries subsidiary, which also made Mr Kipling's Cakes.

1987 Acquired Avana Group, own-label baker[8]

1990 Sold S. and A. Lesme, bulk chocolate maker of Banbury, to the Van Houten division of Jacob Suchard[9]

1992 Purchased by Tomkins plc; RHM was delisted from the London Stock Exchange

2000 Acquired by Doughty Hanson and Co who planned to return the company to the Stock market in 3-5 years[10]

2005 The company was again listed on the LSE in July.

2006 The name was changed to RHM plc from Ranks Hovis McDougall plc; subsidiaries included:[11]

2007 March: the entire share capital was bought by rival Premier Foods and RHM ceased to exist as an independent entity

2015 Operations at Middlewich, Cheshire

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, 4 July 1968
  2. The Times, 4 July 1968
  3. The Times Sept. 11, 1969
  4. The Times, 23 January 1970
  5. The Times Sept. 24, 1971
  6. The Times, 4 January 1972
  7. The Times, 5 January 1977
  8. The Times, April 7, 1987
  9. The Times June 15, 1990
  10. The Times Saturday, July 22, 2000
  11. 2006 Annual report