Premier Foods has confirmed plans to sell its tea business. The UK-based company has issued a statement saying that it will sell the unit - which makes Typhoo, London Fruit & Herb and Lift - to Indian firm Apeejay Surrendra Group for GBP80m (US$140.1m) in cash.

The statement follows press speculation late last month that Premier would sell off the unit.

"Typhoo is a great brand," said Premier's chief executive Robert Schofield. "But after a thorough review, we believe it will benefit from the focus and investment a vertically integrated tea business like Apeejay can bring.

"Our strategy is to drive growth through the active management of our brand portfolio focusing on those brands with leading market positions," Schofield added.

Last year, Premier's tea business brought in net sales of GBP70.2m and operating profit of GBP11.2m.

Premier added that it will use the proceeds from the sale to reduce outstanding debt.