Is Ferrero eyeing a bigger bite of US market with Nestlé interest?

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12 Jan 2018 --- Speculation is mounting over whether or not Italian company Ferrero is edging closer to acquiring confectionery giant’s Nestlé’s US candy business with some media reports claiming a deal is imminent.

An unnamed source close to Bloomberg has claimed an agreement of approximately US$2.8 billion is on the cards as Ferrero emerges as the leader to purchase the Nestlé business.

The high-profile sale has been at the center of speculation since last year when Nestlé first began to explore “strategic options” as part of an on-going review, announced in June.

The company behind Nutella, The Ferrero Group, is emerging as the front-runner, but alongside the Italian company, Hershey’s is also reportedly showing real interest as part of its diversification drive.

Many of the large US food firms are expanding their fields of operation to tap into the shifting preferences of health-conscious consumers.

In December 2017, Hershey’s signed an agreement to acquire Amplify Snack Brands, the company behind SkinnyPop popcorn.

Ferrero produces several lines of confectionery goods under a multitude of brand names, alongside its most famous chocolate-hazelnut spread, Nutella, which has been going since 1964. It also produces other branded chocolate products like Pocket Coffee, Mon Cheri, Confetteria Raffaello and Ferrero Rocher, amongst many others. 

Ferrero has been producing Thorntons products since the company acquired the British chocolate retailer in June 2015 and away from chocolate it also produces Tic Tac candy. 

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