The yeast company that last year bought giant food group Goodman Fielder in a hostile bid, said in March this year that it would sell the US herbs and spices business Tones Brothers.
According to a report in the daily newspaper the Herald Sun the investment bank Goldman Sachs said last week that management expected to conclude the sale this month.
Industry observers pitch potential bidders as US giant ConAgra, Heinz and leading spice firm McCormick & Co. Swiss group Nestle, Britain's Associated British Foods and private equity firms might also be interested.
A slice of the proceeds from the sale are expected to contribute to cutting the group's massive $2.7 billion in debt.
Lallemand/American Yeast divisions of yeast supplier Lallemand announced increases for fresh bakers yeast list prices to US distributors from 14 June 2004. A price rise would be positive for Burns, Goldman Sachs was reported to have said by the Herald Sun.