Kerry Foods, the Ireland-based group, is close to buying local business Breeo Foods, just-food understands.

Kerry is near to signing a EUR171m (US$251m) deal to buy Breeo, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Reox Holdings, the owner of Breeo, which owns brands including Dairygold butter and Shaw's deli meats, has been locked in talks over the sale of the business.

A spokesman for Reox said the company was in "very advanced talks" over a possible sale but declined to name the suitor or comment further.

Kerry has been repeatedly linked to Breeo but has remained tight-lipped. A spokesman for the company again today (18 January) declined to comment.

"There has been a lot of speculation and Kerry hasn't commented at any stage," the spokesman said.

Earlier this week, Kerry did confirm that it is set to complete one acquisition. The company is close to buying the UK sandwich business owned by turkey producer Bernard Matthews with a deal expected within days.