By Jonathan Davies

Thorntons shares have jumped 42% after Italian chocolate maker Ferrero agreed to buy the company for £112 million.

Ferrero, famous for Ferrero Rocher, Nutella and Kinder Eggs, offered 145p per Thorntons share, roughly 43% more than its closing price on Friday.

Thorntons Chairman Paul Wilkinson urged shareholders to accept the offer. He said: "Ferrero is a successful global confectionery business with a strong family heritage and as such represents a good cultural fit for Thorntons.

"The board of Thorntons therefore has given its unanimous recommendation for the offer from Ferrero."

Ferrero chief executive Giovanni Ferrero said: "We delivered our best ever results in the UK in 2014, giving us confidence that now is the right time to broaden our roots in this important market."

Thorntons have struggled over the past year, with sales and profits falling it issued a profit warning in December.