Hershey has been linked with selling off Tyrrells, the UK crisps business it inherited when it acquired US group Amplify Snack Brands in December.

A report from Sky News suggested Tyrrells could be heading for its third owner in little more than 18 months.

The broadcaster said it had learnt Hershey, which owns brands including Reese’s and Twizzlers, is at the early stages of exploring options for Tyrrells, which was founded on a Herefordshire farm by William Chase 15 years ago.

It was initially backed by Langholm Capital, a private-equity firm, before being sold to Investcorp, a Bahrain-based investor, in 2013.

Tyrrells was then bought by US-based Amplify for US$392m in August 2016.

Hershey paid US$1.6bn for Amplify in December.

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By GlobalData

A decision to sell Tyrrells would come as a surprise as analysts saw the Amplify deal as an attempt by Hershey to move away from confectionery towards the wider snacking market.

Last month, Hershey said it envisaged its acquisition of Amplify will strengthen its presence in the salty snacks aisle and add five percentage points to its top line in 2018.

A spokesperson for Hershey told just-food the company does not comment on market rumours or speculation.