Spanish food group SOS Corporacion Alimentaria has sold 80% of date and jam unit Bernabe Biosca to Tunisian firm Cogehuile.

A deal on Bernabe Biosca has been rumoured for months and SOS said yesterday (5 October) that it had sold 79.98% of the business for EUR1.3m (US$1.8m).

Bernabe Biosca is based in the Spanish town of El Campello and has a subsidiary in Tunisia.

Last week, SOS announced plans to raise almost EUR600m to restructure its debts and expand the business.

The company, however, refused to be drawn on reports in Spain that Portuguese olive-oil maker Sovena is looking to invest in the business and become a key shareholder.

SOS, which makes Bertolli olive oil, said the two sides had been in talks to "explore possible avenues of collaboration or integration" since the company sold 5,200 hectares of olive groves in Portugal to Sovena.

The talks are continuing but SOS added that the negotiations had not, to date, led to "any agreement or specific event considered relevant for public dissemination". Sovena declined to comment.