UK confectionery giant Cadbury Schweppes has said that a merger with US candy company Hershey would make sound financial, strategic and commercial sense. However, a spokesperson for the company told just-food today (29 March), this is a possibility that Cadbury has been aware of for some years.

“Given that we tried to buy Hershey back in 2002 in conjunction with Nestlé, it is clear that we have viewed the group as a good strategic fit for some time,” a Cadbury spokesperson told just-food.

However, in a closed event for analysts on Monday Cadbury CEO Todd Stitzer reportedly said that a tie-up would make more sense now than it did in 2002, when the group last seriously examined the possibility.

Cadbury recently announced plans to separate its US drinks and confectionery businesses through the sale, partial flotation or demerger of the beverages unit. This news prompted speculation that the smaller scale of the confectionery business could open the door to a potential takeover.