Benecol and Fox's confectionery owner Raisio has sold its malt operations to Viking Malt.

The Finland-based company said the deal, announced today (1 July), for EUR17m (US$24.7m), was made as "synergies" with its other businesses "have not been significant".

Raisio also said the malt business had been "unprofitable" due to higher taxes on energy and waste water costs.

"The divestment of Raisio Malt Ltd ensures that strong malt industry remains in Finland," Raisio added.

Viking Malt, which Raisio said was the "largest malt manufacturer in the Nordic countries" is part-owned by Swedish food maker Lantmannen. It has production plants in Finland, Sweden and Lithuania.