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The owner of Unilever’s former spreads business Upfield is reportedly in talks to purchase vegan cheesemaker Violife Foods.

The KKR owned spreads business is said by Sky News to be in “advanced talks” with the Greek plant-based player.

A number of other buyout firms are also reported to have tabled bids for Violife, but Upfield is said to be in pole position to secure a deal at close to €500m

Violife’s produces vegan cheeses, spreads and other plant-based foods, with its products listed by Asda, Sainsbury’s, Ocado, WholeFoods and Planet Organic.

KKR bought Unilever’s spreads business, including Flora, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, Becel and Proactiv, for €6.8bn in December 2017.

Neither Upfield or Violife have commented on the reports.

Morning update

The FTSE 100 has opened on the back foot, dropping 0.5% to 7,134.2pts so far this morning.

Early fallers include DS Smith (SMDS), down 2.3% to 329.5p, Tesco (TSCO), down 1.5% to 223.9p and Ocado (OCDO), down 1.1% to 1,280.5p.

Risers so far today include PZ Cussons (PZC), up 2.2% to 209.5p, Britvic (BVIC), up 1.5% to 1,002p and Marks & Spencer (MKS), up 1.5% to 166.3p.

Yesterday in the City

The FTSE 100 ended the day up 0.3% at 7,166.5pts to claw back some of the lost ground on Tuesday.

Troubled McBride (MCB) surged 13.3% yesterday back to 68p after announcing a new chairman this week.

Other risers included Premier Foods (PFD), up 3% to 30.7p, McColl’s (MCLS) up 2.8% to 48.3p, Bakkavor, up 2.7% to 116.4p, Greggs (GRG), up 2.1% to 1,797p and C&C Group (CCR), up 1.9% to 376p.

There were some notable retail names amongst yesterday’s fallers, including Sainsbury’s (SBRY), down 2.2% to 202.3p, Marks & Spencer (MKS), down 2% to 163.9p and Primark owner Associated British Foods (ABF), down 1.7% to 2,119p.

Other fallers included PureCircle (PURE), down 5.3% to 175p, Devro (DVO), down 3% to 172.6p, Glanbia (GLB), down 2.7% to €11.38 and AG Barr (BAG), down 1.6% to 543p.