Barilla Denies Sale Report

MILAN (Reuters) – Italian food company Barilla described as “groundless” newspaper reports that the family owners of the world's biggest pasta maker were considering letting outside investors buy into its capital.

Two Italian newspapers including Il Sole 24 Ore said on Thursday private equity firm Blackstone Group LP (BX.N: Quote, Profile, Research) would be interested in buying 30 percent, while Permira [PERM.UL] had also shown interest. Neither newspaper cited sources.

“The company emphasises that this is information that is completely groundless,” it said in a statement. Barilla said the brothers from the family of the same name who were in charge of the company wanted to keep control of it.

(Reporting by Gilles Castonguay, editing by Will Waterman)