Danish food and ingredients firm Danisco has said it has signed an agreement with France's Rhodia to negotiate exclusively for the takeover of Rhodia's food ingredients business.

Rhodia's food ingredients business is an international supplier of cultures, natural texturants, and food protection solutions to food processing companies. The deal excludes the company's food phosphates business.

The primary focus areas of Rhodia's food ingredients business are: dairy, dessert, beverage and health products, meat and savoury, and bakery products. The business generated sales of DKK1.6bn (US$275.4m) in 2003 and has 860 employees.