United Biscuits, the UK-based bakery group, has agreed to sell its Fontaneda unit in Spain to the Siro group in a deal valued at around €25 million.
The agreement also includes a pledge to maintain staffing levels at the plant, a move welcomed by workers at the plant who had been angered by UB's plans to relocate them.
According to reports in the Spanish press, the two companies have agreed in principal to the sale, although the final details are yet to be ironed out.
Sources close to the deal told the Cinco Dias newspaper that some 50 per cent of the €25 million investment in Fontaneda would come from the local authorities in Castilla and Leon, with the remainder coming from Siro itself.
The terms of the agreement are said to stipulate that while Siro will in principle agree to take on all workers at the Fontaneda plant, UB will also allow anyone wishing to remain within the United Biscuits group to transfer to any of the other Spanish facilities it operates.
In addition, Siro will continue to make biscuits under the Fontaneda brand for United Biscuits in Spain for the next three years.
United Biscuits said in a statement that it hoped to reach a final agreement with Siro in the next few days, but that details such as how to transfer ownership of Fontaneda from its Marbu unit to Siro still had to be sorted out.