Dutch food group CSM has announced that negotiations with CVC Capital Partners regarding the sale of CSM’s sugar confectionery division are now so far advanced that it expects a final agreement on the transaction.

The parties have agreed a provisional takeover price of €850m (US$1.14bn), with the actual value of the transaction to be based on the division’s balance sheet on the date of transfer. CSM said it expects to complete the sale in the first quarter of 2005.

CSM Sugar Confectionery has an annual turnover of €750m and employs approximately 4,300 people. The division is active in Europe and Asia and owns brands including Läkerol, Dietorelle, Malaco, RedBand, Sportlife, Jenkki, and Lutti.

CSM said the planned sale of the division is a major step in its strategy of concentrating on its business-to-business activities in the bakery supplies and food ingredients markets.