A consortium made up of two French sugar cooperatives, Union SDA and Union BS, has said that it will continue discussions about the purchase of a Béghin-Say stake beyond the 30 September deadline

The consortium is discussing whether or not to purchase Edison's 54% stake in France's leading sugar producer, Béghin-Say. A decision on the matter is now not likely to be reached for a few weeks.

Italy's Edison began talks with the cooperatives back in June 2002, and has already had to extend the deadline twice in order to allow the prospective buyers time to discuss their finances and finalise a decision.