Icelandic bank Glitnir said this week it was aiming to further ramp up its exposure in the UK food sector - and did not rule out a bid for operations put up for sale by Northern Foods.

The company said its London-based food team would grow to 35 by the end of the summer - up from three just two years ago.

Glitnir, which offers ser­vices ranging from advice to finance, is well established in the seafood industry, but has been making a conscious effort to expand its business in the UK into other food categories in the past two years.

The company has made a series of key appointments from the food industry in a bid to raise its profile in the sector, including Gavin Canham, who joined the bank three months ago as head of business management from United Biscuits, where he was director of strategy, finance.

Much of Glitnir's recent activity in UK food has been related to deals in the sandwich and baked goods sector, raising the prospect that the bank might be involved in a swoop for Northern Foods' cakes, speciality breads and chilled pastry businesses.

Tim Owen, head of corporate finance, refused to comment on any link with Northern Foods. However, he said: "We're working on a lot of deals."