A Great Western Sugar Co. official in Dallas has confirmed a report that the company is being placed on the market.

Glen Adams, executive vice president of Great Western, said that an ad in today's Wall Street Journal will announce a sealed-bid auction at the end of January. He refused to say what the minimum price will be or to give any other details.

Great Western, a subsidiary of Dallas-based Hunt International Resources Co., is not negotiating with anybody for the sale of the company, Adams said on Monday. Great Western, whose operations are based in Denver, has 13 sugar beet factories, including five in Colorado, and a cane sugar factory in Louisiana.

Max Harper of Yuma, vice president of the Colorado Mountain States Beet Growers Association, told The Denver Post Friday that he had been alerted that the company was going to be put up for sale.

The Wall Street Journal also reported last week that Tate & Lyle PLC, a British sugar company, had inspected Great Western's factory in Billings, Mont. A spokesman for Tate & Lyle said that it might acquire a U.S. sugar company "if it could be bought at a reasonable price."

Great Western and the Greeley, Colo.-based Mountain States Beet Growers Association negotiated last winter for the sale of the six Colorado and Kansas factories, but could not agree on the price. The company wanted $70 million, but the growers were willing to pay only a little more than half that amount.