Lesieur, a subsidiary of The Avril Group, has acquired a 69% stake in Société de Production des Huiles de Bourbon as it plans to "reinforce its position in the Réunion edible oils and dressings markets".

The 69.28% stake was held by ingredients company Marbour Group, Isautier Establishments and the sugar and flour miller, the Cogedal Company. Avril Group said in addition the move would help it develop the market presence of its products in the east African and Indian Ocean regions.

SPHB is, according to a statement detailing the acquisition, the only local bottler of edible oils. It also is a "major player" in the saucis, dressings and ketchup market.

The deal means a 15-year partnership between Lesieur and SPHB, which under licence produces and sells in La Réunion all Lesieur branded edible oils.

Romain Nouffert, director general of Lesieur, explained: "This operation allows us to reinforce a long-standing partnership with a major player in the Réunion market, whose values we share. It also marks a new stage in the international development of Avril, through the opportunities it offers for new markets in the African and Indian Ocean regions."

Jean Bourdillon, chairman of the Marbour Group, added: "By combining the strengths of two very similar companies that have developed considerable and complementary expertise, they offer major potential for the future."