Part of the Cadbury factory in Dunedin could be sold as a going concern, which may mean some jobs will be retained.
The US-based owner of the chocolate company Mondelez International announced in February that the factory, which employs 360 people, would be closed next year.
But in a statement it said the dairy processing plant where sweetened condensed milk was made could be sold separately to investors.
It said there was no need for the company to transfer its dairy processing equipment to Australia, and the stand-alone building could be repurposed to meet the needs of an existing dairy producer, or a boutique operator.
Mondelez said it would explore all opportunities that could contribute to the local economy and labour force.
Yesterday, submissions closed for expressions of interest to manufacture popular brands like jaffas and pineapple lumps in this country.