Greek food group Vivartia has sold its 24% stake in Dodoni Ice Cream to the investment arm of the National Bank of Greece for around EUR5m (US$6.9m).

Dodoni Ice Cream was founded in 1987 and became a franchisor in 1991. The company currently has 75 outlets and distribution deals with a further 300 stores.

A Vivartia spokesperson described the move as an investment decision. Vivartia sold its own ice cream unit to Nestlé two years ago.

Vivartia is currently the subject of a takeover bid by its principal shareholder Marfin Investment Group. Marfin’s stake in Vivartia had risen to 65.9% by last Friday (3 Aug).

Under Greek corporate law, once a company has acquired more than 33% in another it is required to make a formal takeover offer within 20 working days. Marfin passed this mark on 16 July and is expected to table a public offer by 13 August.

Vivartia is the market leader in a number of food categories in Greece and has operations in 29 countries.