Unilever‘s Indian arm has refused to be drawn on claims the company is looking to sell a clutch of food brands in the country.

A report in India’s The Economic Times suggested Hindustan Unilever may offload atta, rice and salt brands as part of moves to focus on fewer food products.

The newspaper said the group had appointed investment banks to gauge the interest for brands no longer deemed core to its strategy.

When approached by The Economic Times, Hindustan Unilever declined to comment – as the company also did when contacted by just-food.

“As a policy, we do not comment on market speculation,” a spokesperson for Hindustan Unilever said.

In September, Hindustan Unilever announced the sale of its bakery unit in India to private-equity firm Everstone Capital. The division included the Modern bread brand, six plants and a network of franchisees across India.

At the time, Hindustan Unilever said the move was part of its strategy to “exit non-core businesses, while continuing to drive its growth agenda in the core packaged foods business”.