A decision on the battle to buy Australian dairy group Dairy Farmers could be revealed this week, according to one of the bidders for the business.

Parmalat, the Italian dairy giant told just-food this afternoon (15 July) that it expected a decision "this week".

Parmalat is bidding for Dairy Farmers alongside local co-operative Murray Goulburn.

The two companies face a rival joint bid from National Foods, the Australian firm owned by Japan's Kirin Holdings, and local dairy products maker Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory.

New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra has been rumoured to have held talks with National Foods, although this has not been publicly confirmed.

A spokesperson for Parmalat said the acquisition of Dairy Farmers would boost its business in Australia, which is suffering amid declining consumer demand.