Associated British Foods, the UK-based group, said today (17 April) that it is "confident" of sealing its acquisition of Dutch yeast firm GBI.

The EU has launched an in-depth investigation into the deal and the potential impact it could have on yeast markets in Portugal, Spain and France.

The European Commission said an initial study into the deal had led to "strong indications of competition problems".

"The Commission must make sure that the planned transaction would not adversely affect the quality or price of yeast products which are essential for bakeries of all types and sizes and, so directly affect the daily bread of European consumers," said Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes.

ABF remained upbeat about its plans to buy GBI. "We will co-operate with the investigation but we are still confident that the deal will go through," a spokesman told just-food.