Mondelez International has refused to be drawn into speculation the separation of its European cheese and grocery business could lead to a sale or spinoff of the unit.

Bloomberg, citing a person familiar with the matter, said the firm’s decision to separate the unit “may pave the way for an exit from the cheese and grocery business”.

The unit comprises Philadelphia cream cheese, as well as regional brands Sottilette and El Caserio.

Speaking to just-food today, a spokesperson for Mondelez confirmed plans to separate the unit.

“We continually review the brands and products within our portfolio and their role in our business. After the coffee transaction closes, we’ll have a European business that’s 90 percent snacking-focused – chocolate, biscuits, gum and candy. Given the impact of the coffee transaction on our European operations, we’ve decided to create a predominantly stand-alone cheese and grocery category in Europe to ensure appropriate focus and create the flexibility required to ensure the long-term success of this business.”

However, on the claim the move could lead to the sale of the business, he added: “As a matter of practice, we do not speculate on market rumours.”