The Ferrero Group has finalized the purchase of Nestlé USA Inc.’s confectionery business, a deal that first was announced in mid-January and was estimated to be valued at $2.8 billion.
The closing of the acquisition adds more than 20 U.S. brands into the Ferrero portfolio, including Butterfinger, Baby Ruth, 100 Grand, Wonka and the exclusive rights to the Crunch brand for confectionery and other select categories in the U.S.
“This outstanding portfolio of iconic brands with rich histories and tremendous brand awareness is a strong addition to Ferrero’s growing U.S. platform, which includes the recently acquired Ferrero Candy Company and Fannie May Confections Brands,” said Giovanni Ferrero, executive chairman of the Ferrero Group. “With our substantially increased scale and broader offering of high-quality products across the chocolate snack, sugar confectionery and seasonal categories, Ferrero is poised for continued growth in the key U.S. market.”
Nestlé USA’s three candy plants in Illinois and office space in California will be managed by Ferrero.
With this transaction, Ferrero will become the third-largest confectionery company in the U.S. market, where it is best known for Tic Tac breath mints, Ferrero Rocher pralines, Nutella hazelnut spreads, the Fannie May and Harry London chocolate brands and the Ferrero Candy Co., which recently was acquired by a Ferrero-affiliated company and whose portfolio of brands includes Trolli, Brach’s and Black Forest Gummies.
At the time the deal was announced, Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider commented: “With Ferrero we have found an exceptional home for our U.S. confectionery business where it will thrive. At the same time, this move allows Nestlé to invest and innovate across a range of categories where we see strong future growth and hold leadership positions, such as pet care, bottled water, coffee, frozen meals and infant nutrition.”
Nestlé’s U.S. confectionery business generated sales of approximately $900 million in 2016 and represented about 3 percent of U.S. Nestlé Group sales. Additional candy brands that now belong to Ferrero include Raisinets, Chunky, OhHenry!, SnoCaps, SweeTarts, LaffyTaffy, Nerds, FunDip, PixyStix, Gobstopper, BottleCaps, Spree and Runts.
The transaction did not include Nestlé’s iconic Toll House baking products, a strategic growth brand which the company will continue to develop. Nestlé remains fully committed to growing its leading international confectionery activities around the world, particularly its global brand KitKat.