French farmers have confirmed their interest in buying Beghin-Say, the sugar producer, saying they do not want to sit idly as the European sugar sector consolidates further. In its July 10 newsletter, the French sugar beet growers' group CGB said that it had recently organised a meeting in Paris with growers' representatives at French sugar factories to discuss the future of Beghin-Say. The Paris meeting came as Beghin-Say's Italian parent company Montedison is fighting a takeover bid from Italian carmaker Fiat and French state power firm Electricite de France, focusing on its electricity assets. Beghin-Say, worth around Euro 1 bn at current share prices, is widely expected to be sold whatever the outcome of that battle. The meeting also came just days after Südzucker, the world's largest sugar maker, said it would buy Saint Louis Sucre, France's second-biggest sugar company after Beghin-Say, for Euro 1.6 bn. CGB said last week it was upset that Südzucker had not consulted it before the acquisition. "Saint Louis Sucre has been sold to Südzucker, a company in which German growers have a majority stake. And Beghin-Say could soon be sold by EdF and Fiat," CGB President Dominique Ducroquet said in an editorial in the newsletter. "Faced with these upheavals, I rounded up the elected officials of Saint Louis Sucre and Beghin-Say factories. They were unanimous in not remaining passive to these changes." On July 9, a group of Italian farmers' associations said they, too, would be interested in at least a minority stake in the firm. No sale is currently possible while Montedison is the subject of a hostile takeover bid by Fiat and EdF.