Singapore-based Olam International has signed an agreement to purchase the assets of US-based tomato processor SK Foods.

The global supply chain manager of agricultural products and food ingredients entered into the agreement with Bradley Sharp of Development Specialists, who is the Chapter 11 trustee of SK Foods and its subsidiary RHM Industrial/Speciality Foods.

The sale is being managed through the bankruptcy court and is expected to go for public auction today (24 June). The results of the bidding are expected to be announced tomorrow.

Success in the auction will further consolidate Olam's presence in the Californian agriculture sector, by expanding its range of dehydrate products and services to its customers in the US and other export markets, the company said.

The asset purchase agreement will also give Olam the right to be a "stalking horse", which will entitle it to a break-up fee and reimbursement of its due diligence expenses, if the court approves the sale of the assets to another purchaser for a higher or better price.

SK Foods was the company at the centre of a bribery scandal last year, after its tomato broker admitted bribing the purchasing agents of some of the US's largest food companies, including the likes of Kraft Foods, McCormick, Safeway and ConAgra Foods.