Looking to reduce debt, Royal Wessanen nv, Utrecht, The Netherlands, said it agreed to sell specialty foods distributorTree of Life Inc. for $190 million toKehe Food Distributors Inc., Romeoville, Ill.

Officials said they expect to close the deal during the first quarter of 2010 and that Tree of Life's Panos Brands LLC business was excluded from the deal.

Tree of Life, St. Augustine, Fla., distributes natural, organic, specialty, ethnic, and gourmet food products. Kehe also is a leading distributor of specialty, gourmet and ethnic products.

"Kehe believes in identifying and filling the product and service needs of retail partners," said Brandon Barnholt Kehe president and CEO. "The combined company will be better suited than ever to fulfill this vision, for retail partners ranging from the smallest independent grocer or natural food store to the largest national chain."