US cereal maker General Mills has said it has received a "Wells Notice" from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in connection with the SEC's inquiry into the company's sales practices and related accounting.

General Mills said the Wells Notice indicates that SEC staff have made a preliminary decision to recommend that the SEC bring a civil action against the company. The SEC notice also covers the company's chief executive officer and chief financial officer, who may also face charges.

General Mills said it believes its sales practices and related accounting comply with all applicable rules and regulations and that it is continuing to cooperate with the SEC in its investigation

The company now has the opportunity to respond to the SEC before it makes its formal recommendation on whether any action should be brought.