B&G Foods is reportedly in negotiations with Associated British Foods over the potential acquisition of US cooking oil business ACH Food Companies.

ACH makes oils under the Mazola retail brand as well as spices and baking enhancements under brands including Spice Islands, French’s and Karo.

According to Reuters, ABF has engaged investment bank Moelis & Co. to handle the sale of the unit. Citing people familiar with the matter, Reuters said the deal will likely value ACH at US$300-400m.

A spokesperson for ABF told just-food that the company “never comments on speculation of this type”. Representatives for B&G Foods were unavailable at time of press.

In its trading update, released yesterday, ABF lifted its full-year operating profit expectations. The UK-based company said that margins at its grocery business, which includes brands such as Jordan’s and Kingsmill, improved in the period while sales were “marginally” higher.

The company also revealed it has entered into an agreement to exit its cane sugar business in southern China. The business is believed to be valued at around $500m.