Spanish food company Natra said it has scrapped its plan to halve its stake in affiliate Natraceutical to 25%.
Natra, which currently holds 50.4% of Natraceutical, said the agreement was reached as part of negotiations with chocolate maker, Barry Callebaut.
“In the course of negotiations, the initial provision of reducing Natra’s stake in Natraceutical down to 25% has been discarded,” Natra said.
In March the company said it would end June with a reduced stake in Natraceutical, in a bid to cut its debt.
Callebaut also signalled its desire to focus on business-to-business chocolate with a deal to transfer its consumer chocolate division Stollwerck to Spain’s Natra.
“The negotiations are on track and are scheduled to be concluded by the end of June 2009,” Barry Callebaut said. “The signing and closing of the transaction will be subject to a number of conditions and approvals, including approval of the competent organs of the two parties, of all relevant authorities and secured financing. Subject to these conditions, the transaction is expected to be effective as of the beginning of September 2009.”
The transaction will leave Callebaut a minority shareholder of the combined European consumer business, Natra Chocolates.