Ferrero’s £112m takeover bid of Thorntons has become ‘wholly unconditional’, subject to the chocolate brand’s acceptance by shareholders.

The offer will still remain open to a decision by Thorntons’ shareholders until Thursday (16 July), but the bid is unconditional after Ferrero received valid acceptances of 72.1% of Thorntons’ share capital.

The deal was proposed by Ferholdings UK Ltd in June, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ferrero International, the Italian manufacturer behind the Ferrero Rocher and Nutella brands.

Ferrero has pledged to carry out a “strategic and operational review” of Thorntons’ business should the offer be accepted, but it has not revealed any details on plans for the chocolatier’s 242 stores.

Thorntons directors have “unanimously” recommended that shareholders accept the offer ahead of Thursday’s 1pm deadline.