Spanish investment group Nueva Rumasa plans to float its chocolate shakes division, Cacaolat, next year in an initial public offering that could raise EUR180m (US$267.5m), a company official has confirmed.

Nueva Rumasa has hired small investment boutique Asesores Financieros Internacionales to run the IPO, tucked under its other subsidiary, Spanish milk company Clesa.

The company has grown to an "appropriate" size for the stock market, the official noted. He confirmed reports that Cacaolat will use the IPO's proceeds to build a new factory in Barcelona to ramp up production and expand into international markets.

The official said Nueva Rumasa, owned by the Ruiz Mateos family, recently rejected a "multi-millionaire" offer for Cacaolat from a leading international drinks firm.

"This is a very strong brand and we realised we could get a better price from a stock market flotation than a straight sale," he said.

Despite its intentions, one Madrid IPO banker said the deal will be hard to market at a time when Spain's economy is mired in recession. However, he said the offering may do well "at the right price."