The Ferrero Group, a global confectionary group, has entered into a definitive agreement for a Ferrero-affiliated company to acquire Ferrara Candy Co., the third-largest U.S. non-chocolate confectionary company, with strong positions in the gummy and seasonal candies categories. Ferrero is acquiring Ferrara from L Catterton, a global consumer-focused private equity firm. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Ferrara is best known as the maker of brands such as Trolli, Brachs and Black Forest Organics. Ferrero is the third-largest company in the global chocolate confectionary market and best known in the U.S. for Tic Tac breath mints, Ferrero Rocher pralines, Nutella hazelnut spreads, and the Fannie May and Harry London chocolate brands. Ferrero recently introduced Tic Tac gum and Kinder Joy to the U.S. market, with both products scheduled to be available in stores in January 2018. The company has also opened the world’s first Nutella Café in Chicago, offering a range of Nutella-based products, along with beverages, sandwiches and soups.
Giovanni Ferrero, executive chairman of the Ferrero Group, said, “We are pleased to welcome the Ferrara business, brands and people to Ferrero. With this acquisition, we are continuing to increase our overall footprint and product offering in the important U.S. market, establishing a presence in new confectionary categories with attractive growth prospects, including gummy and seasonal candies. We look forward to continuing to grow the Ferrara business, investing in its brands to support expansion plans, leveraging its U.S. manufacturing plants and distribution centers, and creating opportunities for its talented people.”
“We are pleased to announce this agreement with Ferrero, which will enable the continued growth and momentum behind our iconic and well-loved brands,” said Todd Siwak, CEO of Ferrara. “We have long admired Ferrero’s core values of loyalty and trust, respect and responsibility, integrity and commitment to quality, which align closely with our passion for bringing smiles to generations of candy lovers. Joining forces with Ferrero gives us the opportunity to accelerate our growth plans in the U.S. and international markets and share best practices as part of a larger, stronger organization.”
Ferrero expects to operate Ferrara as a separate unit and to maintain Ferrara’s headquarters in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois. Ferrero noted that Ferrara has consolidated its manufacturing and distribution footprint to four plants in Bellwood and Forest Park, Illinois, and Reynosa and Vernell, Mexico; two distribution centers in Bolingbrook, Illinois and Grand Prairie, Texas; and an engineering and R&D center in Bellwood, Illinois. Ferrero intends to maintain and leverage this existing footprint with no further planned consolidation.
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.
Founded as a family business in Alba, Italy in 1946, Ferrero is the third-largest company in the global chocolate confectionary market, with global sales of more than $12 billion, distribution across more than 170 countries, and a workforce of more than 30,000 people across 53 countries. Ferrero entered the U.S. in 1969 with Tic Tac breath mints.
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