Private-equity firms have also been linked with investment in Deoleo

Private-equity firms have also been linked with investment in Deoleo

The Fondo Strategico Italiano, the Italian state investment bank, has refused to comment on reports it has made an offer to buy a 30% stake in Spanish olive oil manufacturer Deoleo.

Reuters reported the FSI had confirmed the bid for the stake in Deoleo, which owns brands including Italian olive oil Carapelli.

However, speaking to just-food, a spokesperson for the FSI said he had "no comment" on the matter, insisting the fund had made "no official comment to Reuters".

The stake is said to have been put up for sale by Spanish banks including Bankia and Caixabank.

Deoleo confirmed two weeks ago it had received "indicative" takeover offers for the business".

However, reacting to the Reuters report, a spokesperson for Deoleo refused to disclose whether FSI was a bidder, adding it is "a confidential process and we cannot give any details".

A spokesperson for Bankia told just-food the bank was looking at selling "non-strategic" assets but refused to comment further.

"Bankia have intention to sell all assets not considered strategic," the spokesperson said, adding the company's policy was "not talk about them until they are closed".

No one from Caixabank was available to comment.

Private-equity firms Carlyle Group, CVC Capital Partners and PAI Partners have been linked to making bids for a majority stake in the firm.