Now that the Hershey fiasco is no longer making the headlines, the rumour mill has turned its attention to another US confectionery group, Adams. The company, which makes chewing gum and mints, is part of the pharmaceutical group Pfizer, and has already been the focus of the rumour merchants for some time.
Reports last weekend in the UK press suggested that Cadbury Schweppes, the British confectionery and soft drinks group which had previously been linked to a joint bid for Hershey with Nestle, had made an offer to Pfizer to buy the Adams unit - a move entirely in line with Cadbury's recent expansion which has centred on sugar rather than confectionery groups.
Cadbury had already been linked to a possible buy out of Adams, so the rumour was nothing new, but Pfizer's chairman and CEO Hank McKinnell has been quick to scotch even that. He confirmed that Pfizer was currently in the auction process with regards to Adams, but stated categorically that it had as yet received no offer for the unit.
He added that there had been a lot of interest in the unit, but that Pfizer was not 100 per cent committed to selling the unit, and that it would reserve the right to pursue a different course of action if it proved to be more profitable. That said, a sale of the former Warner Lambert unit is still thought to be the most likely outcome.
The British press on Sunday had claimed that Cadbury was preparing a £3 billion (€4.75bn) bid for Adams, whose brands include Clorets, Dentyne and Trident.