THE owners of Malton Bacon Factory have confirmed that several organisations are interested in buying various parts of their UK empire.

But Vion UK will not comment on the identity of the would-be buyers or whether they want to buy the Ryedale business.

Earlier this week, the chief executive of Hull-based sausage manufacturer Cranswick, Adam Couch, raised speculation that it may be interested in buying the bacon factory when he was quoted as saying his company was “keeping a watchful eye on it”.

Cranswick, which is building a pastry facility next to the Vion site, reported a six per cent rise in revenue and a 21 per cent rise in pre-tax profits when it announced its interim reports on Monday.

A spokesman for Vion UK, which owns Malton Bacon Factory, and which is part of a Dutch-based food producer company, said: “Discussion has started with a number of interested parties. We are not going to comment on which sites are involved or the identity of those involved.”

He could not say how long the process would take, or when Vion UK would be in a position to give further details.

Malton Bacon Factory employs hundreds of people. The uncertainty over its future arose when Vion decided to pull out of its UK operations and concentrate on its European markets. It announced its decision last week.