The Mexican soft drinks company, Jugos del Valle, has confirmed that it is in talks with the US food group, Kraft Foods, regarding a possible takeover of Mexico's second largest fruit juice concern.

Jugos del Valle said in a statement that it "is holding talks with Kraft, as is consistent with the interest shown by Jugos del Valle in analysing different business options including the possible sale of the company." Kraft, part of the Philip Morris corporation, has also confirmed that it has had "conversations" with the company.

Jugos del Valle has nine plants in Mexico, one in Brazil and one Puerto Rico, and posted sales of Peso3.517 billion (US$363m) in 2001. The company accounts for around one third of the Mexican juice market and is almost on a par with the country's leading juice maker, Jumex. It has already been the subject of considerable takeover speculation, having been linked with PepsiCo, Cadbury Schweppes and most recently with Coca-Cola.