Parmalat has reportedly postponed a plan to sell its US cookie business whilst the troubled Italian food group's finances are sorted out.

Parmalat had hired Deutsche Bank to sell the Archway and Mother's cookie brands, but the process has been put on hold while the company's new management team get to grips with Parmalat's financial crisis, reported Reuters, citing sources close to the situation.

The sources also said it was unclear when, or if, the sale would continue.

Elsewhere, industry analysts in Australia have said Parmalat's assets there could sell for up to A$410m (US$315.5m).

Parmalat Australia has previously said its business is stable and not for sale at the moment, but that hasn't stopped Australian dairy firm National Foods from expressing an interest.

National Foods, Australia's largest fresh milk producer, has said it would discuss making a bid for Parmalat Australia if it became available, reported Reuters.

Meanwhile, the US Securities and Exchange Commission has said it may expand its lawsuit against Parmalat. The SEC filed a complaint at the end of December, accusing Parmalat of "one of the largest and most brazen corporate financial frauds in history".

"We are definitely investigating all possibilities, all activities in the United States," SEC Associate Enforcement Director Lawrence West told Reuters.