Leading global confectionery business Adams, best known for its chewing gum brands Trident, Chiclets and Dentyne, will soon be on the market, according to a story in French paper Les Echos this week.
Its owner, the American pharmaceutical company Pfizer, is to sell off the chewing gum and razor activities in order to concentrate on its drugs business.
The group is currently seeking a bank to organise the sale of Adams and the Schick shaving products. The report notes that the sale of the two divisions could generate up to $7 billion according to sources close to the company. The process is likely to take several months given the number of potential candidates, particularly for the Adams business.
Last year Adams, the market leader in the US, had a turnover of €1.96 billion, a drop of 3 per cent from the year before, the paper claims. Analysts estimate that it is currently worth €4 to 5 billion. Swiss food giant Nestle and the British company Cadbury Schweppes are thought to be most interested in the purchase, although Hershey Foods, Kraft Food, Mars and chewing gum maker Wrigley could also be candidates.
The razor business is likely to be bought by consumer goods firm Unilever or Reckitt Benckiser. Both this and the confectionery activities came into Pfizer's ownership when it merged with Warner-Lambert in June 2000 but the group has until now been prevented from selling the businesses for accounting reasons.
Revenue generated from the sale will go towards further acquisitions for Pfizer. The Financial Times has suggested that the company, whose global sales rose to $5.31 billion last year, is planning to spend up to $10 billion on acquisitions this year.