The chief executive of Goya Foods has brushed off a US media report that claimed the supplier of Hispanic foods is in talks to sell a majority stake to private-equity firm Carlyle.

The New York Post citing unnamed sources, said the two sides were in “late-stage talks” over a deal that would value Goya Foods at around US$3.5bn.

However, Bob Unanue, the president and CEO of Goya Foods, insisted the New Jersey-based business is not on the market.

“Goya has a longstanding policy of not responding to rumours. However, the company is not for sale,” Unanue told just-food today (22 October). “We are flattered, of course, that anyone would be interested in owning an iconic brand and business as ours. Our plans for our incredible Goya family is to continue this legacy into the future, even more successfully for generations to come.”

Asked today by just-food if Goya had engaged in talks with Carlyle over a possible deal for all or part of the business, the company declined to comment further. Goya also refused to be drawn on whether it was in discussions with any other party.

In May, CNBC reported Goya, founded in 1936 by Spanish immigrants, has hired investment bank Goldman Sachs to weigh options that could include a sale.

Asked by just-food if Goya had hired Goldman Sachs or whether the bank was still working for the business, the canned-foods group again declined to comment.