Keebler Foods Company, up for grabs since it was put into play last month by controlling shareholder Flowers Industries, has attracted at least a quintet of suitors.

Five companies - Kellogg, Danone of France, Campbell Soup, Quaker Oats and H J Heinz - have signed confidentiality agreements; informed onlookers also believe that the world's largest food company Nestlé may emerge as a bidder. None of the quinted would comment on their interest in Keebler - America’s second largest cookie manufacturer after Nabisco.

Analysts believe that the auction could realise as much as $4.5 billion.

News source: Wall Street Journal