The sale of cooking products company Crisco to Associated British Foods (ABF) is expected to be announced soon, and market watchers have valued the deal at about £310m (US$452.6m).

Consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble (P&G) is selling Crisco as part of a drive to reshape its business with fewer, more concentrated product lines.

Associated British Foods has amassed a war chest worth around £1bn following the recent sale of several assets, including Burtons biscuits. The company’s last major acquisition was British Sugar in 1991, but it now controls brands such as Allinson and Kingsmill bread, Ryvita and Twining teas. CEO Peter Jackson has expressed his intention to expand strategically and place ABF among the top food companies in the world.

ABF, controlled by the Weston family, bought another line of products from P&G last year.

With annual sales of £240m, Crisco was the first company early last century to introduce a vegetable-based shortening for pastry makers. It was also among the pioneers of vegetable oil and spray-on cooking oil products.

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