Unilever Bestfoods France is negotiating the sale of several of its French brands to capital investment fund CDC Ixis Service.

CDC Ixis Service is jointly owned by France’s deposit and consignment office (CDC) and electricity utility, EDF.

The brands in question – Banania (chocolate powder), Benco (chocolate granules), Yabon (cream desserts) and Poti (purees) – are unknown outside France and this is seen as the major factor behind the sale.

Production centres on two plants, which employ 166 staff, and the brands generate a combined turnover of €40m (US$43.3m). Unilever inherited the brands following the acquisition of US group, Bestfoods, in 2000.