According to a report in French newspaper La Tribune, investment funds and industry players are lining up to acquire convenience food group Uniq’s French spread brands  – St Hubert and Le Fleurier –  which were put up for sale in June.

The closing date for the first round of bidding was 30 August and the report says that French merchant bank Lazard, which is handling the sale, has received around 15 offers. Candidates are said to include investment funds Electra, Bridgepoint and Duke Street Capital, Sagard et LBO France.

As for interest from the food sector, Lesieur, Bongrain, the parent company of the Elle & Vire and Corman butter brands and Dairy Crest, are thought to be among the bidders but not Lactalis.

Uniq’s French spreads division, which employs 150 staff, working from a production plant in eastern France, has a current turnover of EUR190m (US$243.68m).
In the next fortnight, Lazard is expected to draw up a shortlist of candidates with the sale scheduled for completion by the end of the year.