Cott Corp. has confirmed that it is in talks with "interested parties" with a view to a possible merger.

Reports on Friday (13 April) suggested that the Canada-based store-brand beverage producer is in discussions with private equity firms to merge with the beverage arm of Cadbury Schweppes. The Wall Street Journal cited a source familiar to the situation last week, which led to shares in Cott being suspended in Toronto.

"Following the recent announcement by Cadbury Schweppes plc regarding the separation of its confectionery and Americas Beverage business, Cott has responded to interested parties that have approached the company, and is exploring the potential benefits of participating in possible industry consolidation," Cott said. "The company is also consulting with outside legal and financial advisors.

While the board of directors of Cott is supportive of these exploratory discussions, there has been no decision regarding a change in strategy."

Last month, UK-based Cadbury Schweppes said it will separate its Americas drinks operations from its confectionary business. The company said it was "evaluating the options for separation" and would shed further light on its plans in June.