Hershey is near a $1.6bn (£1.1bn) deal to buy Amplify Snack Brands, according to CNBC, which cited unidentified sources familiar with the matter.
The deal values Amplify, the owner of crisp brand Tyrrells, at $12 a share, CNBC said, which would represent a 71 per cent premium to Friday’s closing price of $7 a share.
Amplify, based in Austin, Texas, has a market cap of $537m and markets brands including SkinnyPop popcorn.
Total debt as of September 30 was $590.5m, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
CNBC said the deal could be announced as early as Monday.
Hershey’s move signals the intent of new chief executive Michele Buck to lead consolidation in the snacks industry after the maker of Kisses sweets rejected a takeover bid from Oreos-maker Mondelez.
During a March investor meeting, Hershey’s management said it is particularly interested in companies that have accelerated growth in the US snacks industry. Hershey shares have gained 10 per cent this year, valuing the company at $24bn.
The US confectionery business has been consolidating amid sluggish demand for chocolate.
Among other deals in the sector, Mars, the maker of M&Ms and Snickers, purchased a minority stake in another in snack company, Kind Bar, last month.
Kellogg signed a $600m deal for protein bar maker Rxbar in October.
Hershey has been mentioned as one of the company’s planning to bid for Nestle SA’s US confectionery division.