Private equity firm KKR has refused to be drawn in to speculation it is one of the bidders in the race to acquire Abu-Dhabi based National Food Products Co. (NFPC).

According to Reuters which cited unnamed sources, KKR and Dubai-based investment firm, Fajr Capital, have teamed up to bid for NFPC.

KKR, however, declined to comment on the matter when approached by just-food. Fajr Capital did not return requests for comment.

NFPC’s portfolio includes dairy brand Milco and long life milk-to-fruit juice brand Lacnor. It also has a joint venture with European dairy co-op Arla Foods. The UAE dairy group appointed Emirates Investment Bank to oversee the sale in October.

Last month Saudi Arabian dairy giant Almarai confirmed its interest in acquiring a “controlling stake” in NFPC. It added it had been invited to conduct due diligence and would make further announcements based on the result of its negotiations. Though Almarai has not confirmed the size of the stake it is looking to acquire, it is thought to be worth about US$1.5bn.

According to Reuters, other bidders in the race include an international financial firm and an international industrial firm.