Associated British Foodshas beaten off competition from bigger rivals to buy Patak's this week.

The deal was estimated to be worth more than £100m, and City analysts believe owner Kirit Pathak could also receive an extra £90m over the next five years.

But it was unlikely that the sale to ABF had been driven solely by money, said one source close to Patak's. "I would be very surprised if ABF had the biggest offer on the table," he said. "Several companies, including Mars and Heinz had expressed an interest, but I think the Pathaks would not have felt comfortable selling to these huge companies with factories across the world.

"Although ABF is a global company, it is still a family-owned business, and is known for its long-sighted approach and maturity."

ABF has brought all Patak's brands and businesses, excluding its Indian operation, which will remain wholly owned by the Pathak family. Kirit Pathak will also become chairman of ABF's new dedicated world foods business, bringing together ABF's ethnic brands such as Blue Dragon and Rajah with Patak's.

Pathak's wife Meena will hold a board seat in the world food business.

"This partnership will reinforce the leadership position of the Patak's brand in Indian food worldwide and significantly enhance the capacity of Patak's to realise its full global potential as the reference Indian food brand," said Kirit Pathak.