Germany's competition regulator, the Federal Cartel Office, has said it has blocked the sale of French fruit processor Atys to German-Austrian food company Agrana.

The regulator said that a merger of Atys and Agrana would limit competition in the fruit processing sector, as the combined firm and market leader Franz Zentis would together have a market share of more than 70%, reported Agence France Presse.

Atys, which is currently owned by France's Butler Capital, has annual sales of around €400m (US$475.5m) and supplies processed fruit for producers of yoghurt, ice cream and drinks.