Unilever‘s US salad dressings business, Wish-Bone, has reportedly attracted interest from food firms B&G Foods and Pinnacle Foods.

Last Friday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Unilever had hired Goldman Sachs to find a buyer for the unit. Unilever, however, has declined to comment.

According to a Reuters report yesterday, B&G Foods and Pinnacle Foods are eyeing the business, which, it said, could fetch US$400m to $500m in a sale. Sources told the publication that food companies, including breakfast cereal group Post Holdings and sauces and dressings owner Clorox, have passed on the deal.

When contacted by just-food, B&G Foods declined to comment on whether it was interested in acquiring the unit.

Pinnacle Foods said: “As a matter of policy, we do not comment on market speculation or rumours.”

Unilever acquired the Wish-Bone brand through its acquisition of Lipton. The range includes around 20 brands of seasonings, dressings and marinades.

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The consumer goods group, which has seen its non-food business grow faster than its food operations in recent years, has been offloading food brands. Its last disposal was Skippy peanut butter in January to Hormel Foods, for around US$700m.