Lindt Chocolate
Lindt chocolate. Reuters

Swiss chocolate maker Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Spruengli is close to acquiring privately-held US candy business Russell Stover.

Russell Stover is the third-largest American candy firm by sales. Lindt makes Lindor chocolate balls and gold foil-wrapped chocolate bunnies among other things.

The Ward family put Russell Stover up for sale earlier in the year and has hired Goldman Sachs to find a suitor, Reuters reported.

Kansas City-based Russell Stover could be valued at about $1bn (£584m, €735m), the news agency reported previously. The 50-year old firm's products are available throughout the US and in over 20 countries.

Lindt will announce sales figures for the first half of the year on 15 July. In March, the firm said that it expected its North American sales to top $1bn this year.

Ferrero-Oltan Gida Deal

Italian confectionary giant Ferrero has bought Turkey's largest hazelnut company, according to reports in the Turkish media earlier in the month.

The Nutella makers purchased Oltan Gida in a move that could shake up the global chocolate and hazelnut sectors, Turkish daily Dunya reported .

Oltan Gida accounts for around a third of Turkey's hazelnut production and exports its products to the EU, the US, China, Japan and Australia. The firm has an annual turnover of over $500m, according to its website.