Talks between French food giant Danone and BC Partners are continuing over whether the London-based private-equity house will acquire Danone's Italian cheese division Galbani or back its management in a buyout.

A takeover deal by BC Partners could be worth up to £1bn (US$1.4bn).

Danone, which is being advised by Deutsche Bank, revealed only that it is in talks with several possible partners, and that no decisions had yet been made. BC Partners meanwhile has so far refused to discuss the possibility of a deal.

Galbani contributes sales worth about 6% of Danone's overall revenue. One analyst explained to the Sunday Times: "The investment community is keen that Danone gets rid of the division."