Soft drinks company Coca-Cola Amatil has approached Australian fruit and vegetable processor SPC Ardmona with a A$500m (US$382.8m) takeover bid for the company.

Coca-Cola Amatil, 34.5% owned by soft drinks giant Coca-Cola, has said it is prepared to offer between A$2.05 and $2.19 per share plus a three cent dividend, reported Dow Jones News.

SPC Ardmona had been in talks with Australian dairy company National Foods regarding a merger between the two firms, but talks were temporarily halted this week after New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra launched a takeover bid for National Foods.

SPC's board has recommended that the company's shareholders accept the offer; a vote has been scheduled for late January or early February.

SPC's managing director Nigel Garrard said a merger with C-C Amatil would provide SPC with an opportunity to boost sales.