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Ferrero snaps up Nestlé's confectionery business for $2.8bn

Ferrero snaps up Nestlé's confectionery business for $2.8bn

According to a report by Yahoo Finance, Ferrero is set to buy the iconic chocolate brands Butterfinger and Crunch bars, as well as the Nerds, SweeTarts and FunDip.

"With Ferrero we have found an exceptional home for our USA confectionery business where it will thrive", said Nestle CEO Mark Schneider.

The purchase will make Ferrero the third-largest confectionary company in the US, and will enable Nestle to invest in other faster-growing categories. Nestle also makes Purina pet food, bottled water, Stouffer's and Gerber baby foods.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals and is expected to close around the end of the first quarter of 2018.

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Ferrero is building its USA presence at the same time that the big companies are diversifying beyond the sweets that made them famous. The candy sales were about 1% of the company, which has diverse interests in just about every type of packaged food on the planet and will still be making candy for the rest of the world. The brands Ferrero are acquiring are healthy, money-making operations - Nestle's USA confectionary business generated sales of approximately $900 million in 2016 - that should serve Ferrero well.

For Ferrero, this opens up a USA market where it's mostly known for hazelnut spread and those chocolates you give to your grandmother every holiday. It will also acquire Nestle's confectionary-related employees. The sale will make Ferrero the third biggest confectioner in the U.S. and leave the Swiss brand free to focus on other areas.

It follows Ferrero's purchase of Ferrara Candy, maker of Lemonheads and RedHots, from the L Catterton private equity group. Nutella is Ferrero's most recognized global product.

Nestle was formed in 1905 with the merger of the Anglo-Swiss Milk Company, established in 1866 by brothers George and Charles Page, and Farine Lactee Henri Nestle, founded in 1866 by Henri Nestle.

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