Italy's Ferrero is closing in on a $2.8-billion deal for Nestle's US confectionary business.
Nestlé has been exploring its strategic options for its US chocolate business since June
Ferrero, above all known for its Tic Tac, Nutella and Ferrero Rocher brands but which has traditionally preferred organic growth to acquisitions, had been vying with Hershey and private investor groups including France's Rhone Capital for the deal.
Nestle owns brands including Crunch, Butterfinger, Baby Ruth and Skinny Cow.
The acquisition would see Ferrero, world number three in the candy sector after doubling turnover to €10 billion in the past ten years, become the third-largest sweets producer in the United States behind Hershey and Mars.
Currently, its US business only accounts for around five percent of its business having bought Ferrara Candy in December.
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