France-based Danone and New Zealand’s dairy cooperative Fonterra are said to be among the interested players to buy a controlling stake in India-based Tirumala Milk Products for around Rs25bn ($450m).

Around 20% stake is owned by American global asset management firm Carlyle Group and the remaining 80% shares are owned by a group of five first-generation rural entrepreneurs.

The Hyderabad-based company has processing plants and strong distribution network across Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, and produces liquid milk, butter ghee and ethnic sweets.

A company spokesperson told Times of India that investment bankers will be mandated shortly after a few global buyers show interest.

"The sale will be open only to foreign strategic acquirers and the original founders plan to retain a part of their stake," he added.

The company processes 1.6 million litrers of milk and has an annual turnover of Rs15bn ($272m).