U.S. chocolate maker Hershey Co has held talks for several weeks with Italy's Ferrero Spa over a potential bid for Cadbury Plc that would rival a hostile offer from Kraft Foods Inc , The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

Citing people familiar with the matter, the Journal said Hershey executives have been more aggressive about pursuing a deal, though financial details have not been discussed and no offer has been produced.

One obstacle is which company would take control of Cadbury's higher-margin gum and candy businesses, the Journal said.

Hershey officials could not be immediately reached.

(Reporting by Michele Gershberg, editing by Matthew Lewis)