Spain's Ebro Foods is to buy the pasta business of Canada Bread, the Canadian group that could be set for a change in ownership.

Canada Bread said today (24 October) it had agreed to sell fresh pasta and sauce division Olivieri Foods to Ebro for around C$120m.

The deal comes days after Canada Bread's largest shareholder, Canadian food giant Maple Leaf Foods, said it was "exploring strategic alternatives" for its 90% stake in the business.

Canada Bread president and CEO Richard Lan said the sale of Olivieri Foods was "an excellent opportunity" to "optimise the value of our fresh pasta business, while realising its potential under a company dedicated to expanding in the global pasta industry".

Lan added: "With the leading Canadian brand in fresh pasta, a strong consumer and customer base and highly skilled employees, this acquisition provides Ebro Foods with an excellent growth platform."

Ebro has a pasta business south of the border in the US. Antonio Hernandez Callejas, Ebro's chairman, said the acquisition of Olivieri gave the company the opportunity to enter Canada's fresh pasta and sauces business through "the leading brand".

Callejas also saw benefits across the Atlantic in Europe. "The incorporation of Olivieri into Ebro Foods will also produce numerous additional synergies with our European fresh pasta business headed by Lustucru, in commercial, industrial, marketing and advertising aspects," he said.

Olivieri generated sales of C$105.5m in 2012. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year.