Unibic Biscuits India has refused to comment on reports that a deal to sell a majority stake in the business to consumer goods giant Marico is off.

India’s Economic Times newspaper had quoted Unibic Biscuits India managing director Nikhil Sen as saying that plans to sell 51% of the company to Marico were “not happening now”.

However, when contacted by just-food yesterday (12 May), Sen was less forthcoming. “We do not comment on market speculation,” he said.

India’s media had widely reported that Marico was trying to acquire a 51% stake in Unibic’s Indian subsidiary for INR1.3bn (US$29m).

The deal would mark Marico’s entry into India’s INR110bn biscuit sector. Through its Indian subsidiary, Australia’s Unibic holds 7-8% of the market.

A Marico spokesperson also refused to confirm the deal was off. “We do not comment on M&A speculations and hence cannot either confirm or deny queries,” he said.

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