Uniq is set to complete the sale of its struggling pork processing subsidiary Malton Foods to Aberdeen-based Grampian Country Foods for about £20m(US$29.47m).

The buyout deal was looking unsteady at the end of last month, but the company revealed that with Grampian back at the table most of the terms have been agreed and a deal will be completed soon.

Buffeted by a combination of foot and mouth disease, swine fever and adverse market conditions, Malton Foods made full-year losses of £83m, including exceptional charges, over the last year.

A former Unigate convenience food business, Uniq is currently valued at £120m but its stock market value is falling and analysts expect that this fact, along with the sale of the loss-making business unit, will leave the rest of Uniq vulnerable to takeover bids from other companies and venture capitalists.

Across the UK and Europe, Uniq controls the St Ivel yoghurt brand and several chilled and convenience food businesses.