HP Sauce, the key ingredient of a good fry-up, and its stablemate Lea & Perrins, could soon be bought by a new owner in a £500 million deal.
French food products group Danone has asked investment bank Lazard to seek potential buyers for HP Foods, the maker of both sauces.
Lazard, which declined to comment, is understood to have approached a select number of trade and private equity buyers.
Bidding could be fierce, with American rivals Kraft and Heinz joining the battle against an expected British interest from Unilever.
Associated British Foods has also said it wishes to grow through acquisition.
Danone bought HP Foods for £199 million from industrial conglomerate Hanson.
HP Sauce and Daddies brands are produced in Birmingham.
HP Sauce was invented in 1900 when Edwin Moore, owner of the Midland Vinegar Company, accepted the recipe for a home-made sauce from FG Garton of Nottingham to clear a £150 debt.
It was christened HP after it was said to have been spotted on a table at the Houses of Parliament.