Spanish food firm Grupo SOS today (25 August) insisted that it was not considering selling its rice business.

The company, which owns the Bertolli and Carbonell olive oil brands, is reviewing parts of its operations and Credit Suisse is advising SOS on a financial restructuring programme.

SOS has admitted it is looking to reduce its debts through the sale of assets, including its vinegar and sauces business.

However, a spokesperson told just-food that its rice business, which saw revenues rise 12% in the first quarter of 2009, is not on the block.

“The sale of company assets can be an option to help strengthen the business but the sale of rice business has not been studied by the board.”

SOS’s olive oil business accounts for 97% of the firm’s EBITDA but the group maintained that rice remained a central part of its strategy.

“Both products, rice and olive oil, are strategic business units for the company,” the spokesperson said.