US chocolate maker Hershey is reportedly considering a £10bn ($17bn) solo bid for its much speculated offer for Cadbury.
The bid would further test the resolve of the as-now independently owned Birmingham-based firm who rejected a £9.8bn offer from Kraft, also from the US, earlier this month.
Last week it was reported that Hershey – maker of Reece’s Pieces and Hershey’s Kisses – was considering making a joint bid for the company with the Italian maker of ambassadorial favourites Ferrero Rocher, Ferrero Spa.
The Wall Street Journal says the US company – owned by a charitable trust – is still considering this option but is weighing up a bid on its own as well.
Hershey’s makes Cadbury products in the US under license but use its own recipe.
Unions representing Cadbury workers want the company to stay independent as they fear redundancies would be inevitable through economies of scale if the company is taken over by a larger rival.