Nestle sells United States candy to Ferrero for US$2.8 billion

Nestle sells United States candy to Ferrero for US$2.8 billion

Italy's chocolate giant Ferrero bought the US candy business of Swiss food group Nestle for 2.8 billion USA dollars in cash, making the Italian firm the world's third largest in its sector, local media reported Wednesday.

The sale will make Ferrero the third-largest confectionary company in the USA market.According to media reports, Ferrero competed with major chocolate manufacturer Hershey and private funds, including Rhone Capital, to secure the deal. Its candy brand represents about 3 percent of USA sales, according to the company.

Ferrero, known for its Tic Tac, Nutella and Ferrero Rocher brands but which has traditionally preferred organic growth to acquisitions, will now be picking up Crunch, Butterfinger and Baby Ruth from Nestle.

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Hershey did not win its latest bid to consolidate its leading position in the US retail chocolate market, but that may not be a bad thing.

Ferrero will acquire Nestle's USA manufacturing facilities in IL.

Nestle announced a new agreement to sell its us confectionery business to Italian firm Ferrero.

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Nestle said in June it was considering options for the USA confectionery unit, and said it attracted significant interest from bidders in July.

The market lately has been tough for Nestle and Schneider has been working on growth strategy. A year ago it acquired Ferrara Candy Co, maker of Red Hots and Lemonhead sweets, and confectioner Fannie May. Nestle already owns coffee brands Nescafe and Nespresso. On Tuesday, Jan. 16, Nestlé announced the sale agreement with Ferrero and explained that the confectionary business in the United States does not have a strong position, as it's behind Hershey, Mars, and Lindt.

Once the deal closes, Ferrero could consider developing new product varieties based on existing brands, similar to what Mondelez has done with Oreo or Hostess Brands with Twinkies.

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