H.J. Heinz Company has applied to Russia's antitrust watchdog to buy a stake in Petrosoyuz, a major manufacturer of sauces and spreads, according to a report in business daily Vedomosti today (Friday) reported by the Reuters news agency.

Heinz declined to comment and Petrosoyuz would only say that they were in talks with a major Western firm, the paper said. It estimated Petrosoyuz could be worth up to $120 million, taking into account a premium for its market share.