Competition to acquire Portugal's leading pasta maker Cerealis is heating up with three companies - Spain's Ebro Puleva, Grupo Gallo and Italy's Barilla - all rumoured to be interested in sealing a deal.

The sale, according to Dow Jones, could raise as much as EUR100m (US$121.12m).

The privately owned company has a revenue of over EUR120m and owns the well-known Milaneza and Nacional brands.

Citing people farmiliar with the situation, Spanish newspaper Expansion reported today (31 March) that negotiations for the sale are at an advanced stage and a deal could be reached in a matter of weeks.