PARIS – French daily newspaper Le Figaro reported a consortium led by French oilseed giant Sofiproteol has the backing of the French government to bid for Doux, one of the world's biggest poultry exporters, according to Reuters. Also active in the animal feed, egg and pig breeding industries, Sofiproteol would lead a French consortium to make an offer for the entire group.

Early in June, the family owned firm went into administration with debt of 340 million euros ($423 million); the firms employs 3,400 and about 800 poultry farmers in France.

This situation has caused France's new Socialist government to intervene, which is trying to avoid a wave of factory closures after unemployment hit its highest level since 1999.

Doux is 80 percent family-owned, with the remainder held by French bank BNP Paribas.

A deadline for takeover bids for Doux expires July 5.