UPDATE 1-Ebro Puleva sells dairy unit to Lactalis

Mon Mar 8, 2010 12:06pm GMT

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* Agreement sealed for 630 million euros

* Shares up 0.7 percent

(Adds details, shares, background)

MADRID, March 8 (Reuters) - Spanish food company Ebro Puleva EVA.MC announced a deal on Monday to sell its dairy business to Lactalis, Europe's largest dairy group, for 630 million euros

($862 million).

Ebro's disposal of its dairy unit, which generated 444 million euros in revenues in 2009, followed the sale of its sugar business to Associated British Foods (ABF.L) last year for 526 million, which helped it pay off debt.

The company's remaining business interests include rice and pasta.

Unlisted family-owned French firm Lactalis has annual revenues of some 8.5 billion euros, according to its website. It owns the President and Lauki brands.

Ebro shares were up 0.7 percent to 14.525 euros by 1156 GMT, slightly outperforming a gain of 0.3 percent by the Madrid bourse .IBEX.

(Reporting by Rodrigo de Miguel; Editing by Dan Lalor)

($1 = 0.7307 euro)

((martin.roberts@thomsonreuters.com; +34 91 585 2130; Reuters Messaging: martin.roberts1.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: EBROPULEVA/

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