Ferrero has reportedly been shortlisted to participate in the second auction round for the up-for-sale international business of Campbell Soup Co., according to Reuters.

The Italian confectionery group joins food giants Kraft Heinz and Mondelez International vying for the assets – as previously reported – which include Australian cookie brand Arnott’s and Denmark-baked snacks maker Kelsen Group. 

Reuters said earlier this month, quoting sources, that private-equity funds Bain Capital, Fintrek Capital Hong Kong and KKR & Co. were also in the running, but it is unclear if they will still take part in the second round.

The news agency again quoted unnamed sources yesterday (17 January) as saying Ferrero, the owner of brands such as Nutella spreads and Tic Tac, was in the second round of bids.

“Ferrero, which already has a plant in Australia, is interested in Arnott’s brand and factories,” the source told Reuters

New York-listed Campbell announced in August it planned to sell off its international food business, along with its fresh food arm, to focus on its North American operations.

just-food approached Ferrero and Campbell for confirmation of the confectioner’s participation in the auction process but both companies said they did not comment on speculation.