PARIS Dec 5 Lactalis, Europe's biggest dairy
group, is close to sealing a deal to buy a 70-percent stake in
South Indian dairy company Tirumala Milk Products, French daily
Les Echos said on Thursday.
A deal, which could be signed by the end of the month, would
value the company at around 220 million euros, the French paper
said, citing industry sources as well as Indian media reports.
A spokesman for Lactalis declined to comment on the report.
Founded in 1998, Hyderabad-based Tirumala Milk Products is
one of the largest dairy processors in southern India.
Private equity company Carlyle, which owns a 20 percent
stake, would sell its holding, the paper said.
Tirumala's four founders, who own a combined 80 percent
stake, would sell 50 percent, resulting in Lactalis owning 70
Les Echos said Tirumala also attracted interest from French
food group Danone. Danone could not be immediately
reached for comment.
(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; editing by Tom Pfeiffer)