Unilever is expecting to receive at least three bids of US$1.4bn-US$1.6bn today for the US bakery business it acquired in last year’s US$21.3bn takeover of Bestfoods. Unilever will review the offers on Tuesday, and choose a preferred bidder later this week

Firm bids are predicted to come from Sara Lee, Bimbo de Mexico and Earthgrains according to the UK’s Financial Times. Interstate Bakeries, the largest US baker, looks to have dropped out of the auction while George Weston, the Canadian food group, is believed to have only been interested in parts of the group. Some private equity groups were also interested in the business.

The Bestfoods bakery business, which has annual sales of about US$1.7bn, has Thomas’ English muffins, Arnolds’ bread and Entenmanns cakes amongst the portfolio of its brands.