Dutch food group Wessanen has sold its US subsidiary Panos to private-equity firm High Road Capital Partners Fund.

High Road will pay US$22m for Panos on a cash- and debt-free basis, which will result in a book profit for Wessanen of around $9m in the fourth quarter, the Dutch firm said today (20 December).

The sale is in line with Wessanen's strategy to focus on organic food in Europe. Earlier this year the firm set itself a target of becoming the "organic food champion" in its European markets after offloading the last of its operations in the US. The firm is yet to sell of its ABC business, which it said will happen next year.

Wessanen plans to build its presence in the "attractive and growing" organic food sector in Europe. The company plans to set up a "European organic expertise centre", as well as "harmonising" a wider portfolio of over 40 brands.