Italy's Barilla to sell German unit Lieken to Czech group

MILAN Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:46am EST

MILAN Feb 25 (Reuters) - Barilla, the world's biggest pasta maker, said on Monday it had signed a deal to sell its only remaining German business, the bakery chain Lieken AG, to Czech group Agrofert.

In a statement, the Italian group did not disclose financial details of the deal which is subject to European Union approval.

The deal will allow Barilla to continue focusing on growing its core business, the company said.

Barilla said in June it was looking to sell Duesseldorf-based Lieken to focus on pasta and higher-margin food products.

Lieken, a German market leader in bread making and a maker of baked goods under the Golden Toast brand, employs 4,700 people and had net sales of 756 million euros ($995.05 million)in 2011.

Barilla bought Lieken in 2002 as part of its acquisition of another bakery chain, Kamps. It sold Kamps to private equity firm ECM in August 2010. ($1 = 0.7598 euros) (Reporting By Danilo Masoni, editing by Stephen Jewkes)