Cadbury Schweppes has remained quiet on reports that it is considering buying up confectionery rivals after the sale of its US drinks business.

The maker of Dairy Milk and Halls announced in March that it intends to divide its confectionery and US drinks units. Cadbury said that it was considering the possibility of either a spin-off or auction of the US business.

According to a report in the Financial Times, Cadbury is believed to be eyeing candy rivals Ferrero and Haribo, which would be purchased with the proceeds of any sale.

Declining to comment on "rumour and speculation" a spokesperson for the company told just-food today (21 May): "The decision to separate the drinks and confectionery business was taken because we believe each unit will operate more effectively on a stand-alone basis. This being the case, we will be looking at various options to drive the confectionery business forward after the two are separated."

The group's US drinks division, which has been valued at GBP8bn (US$15.8bn), has attracted considerable interest from the private equity sector since the possibility of a sale was made public.