Private equity groups have reportedly withdrawn from the race to acquire Belgium soy milk and yoghurt maker Alpro Soya from Vandemoortele Group. 

Citing unnamed banking sources, Reuters today (22 April) reported that a number of interested trade buyers have outbid private equity groups, who have failed to raise sufficient funds due to the credit crunch.

Vandemoortele told just-food that it hopes to complete the sale in the next few months. However, the Belgian-based food group remained tight-lipped on the sale process, declining to name interested parties.

Dutch food group Wessanen is viewed as one a possible suitor. The company today said that it was mulling pulling out of the US in order to focus on expanding its European business organically and through acquisitions.