Rumours that consumer goods giant Unilever is close to beginning the auction of its Birds Eye and Iglo have begun to circulate but this should be viewed as no surprise, a Unilever spokesperson told just-food.

"We put the for sale sign up in February and said that we were anticipated completing the sale by the end of the year, so its really no surprise that rumours are starting to circulate. We aren't able to give out anything definite at the moment."

It has been speculated that private equity firms Apex and Candover are interested in the brands, while CapVest, who own Findus and Young's, have also been suggested as potential bidders.