Thorntons has refused to confirm reports that the chocolate retailer and manufacturer is in early talks with Icelandic group Baugur to buy the company.

The Financial Mail on Sunday yesterday (16 July) reported that if Baugur does succeed in acquiring Thorntons assets it would break-up the company, seperating retail and manufacturing operations. Thorntons’ production facilities would be sold on to Swiss chocolate company Lindt, the report suggested.

However, neither Thorntons or Baugur would confirm or deny the rumoured negotiations when contacted by just-food.