Five companies have expressed an interest in buying the Nicaraguan assets of troubled Italian food group Parmalat.

Parmalat Nicaragua grew out of the local company La Perfecta, which the Italian company bought in 1999. It employs 800 people and buys some 20% of the country's milk output, reported Invertia.

The parties interested in acquiring Parmalat Nicaragua include the Cohen family of bankers and business people, as well as Agricorp and the Eskimo ice cream maker. They are all said to be committed keeping operations going and protecting staff.