KWV Limited has sold its 25% share in Ceres Fruit Juices to the Pioneer food company, which now has a 100% interest in South Africa's biggest long-life fruit juice company.

KWV jettisoned the shares because Ceres fell outside its core business, it said.

Pioneer said it had considered taking complete control since it started acquiring blocks of Ceres shares in late 1999.

Neither company was willing to divulge what the settlement figure was. KWV MD, Dr Willem Barnard, said the funds received would be ploughed back into the core wine and spirits business.

Barnard said, however, that the company would be retaining and consolidating its grape juice concentrate business, moving all its equipment from its plants in Robertson and Vredendal to Upington.