Dairy Crest is a step closer to completing the sale of its French spreads business, after completing a crucial consultation process and signing a sale and purchase agreement.

The company today said it had finished its consultation with the French Works Council.

It has also received lender consent and signed a binding sale and purchase agreement for St Hubert with its buyer, Brassica Acquisition, which is backed by Montagu Private Equity.

The news comes after Brassica made a binding £344m cash bid for St Hubert on 29 June.

Before it can complete, the deal will require the green light from Dairy Crest’s shareholders and from the French regulator Autorité de la Concurrence.

Dairy Crest said it expected the sale to be finalised by 30 September.