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Mars Inc. to Purchase UK’s Hotel Chocolat for $662 million

Nov. 16, 2023
Specialty chocolatier has been looking to expand internationally and believes Mars can help drive that growth.

Mars Inc. will purchase Hotel Chocolat for $662 million, according to news reports, with the expectation of giving the UK specialty chocolate company more opportunity for international growth.

According to Reuters, Hotel Chocolat CEO Angus Thirlwell and co-founder Peter Harris have said the offer will be accepted. The company, which was founded in 1993, has more than 130 stores, and Thirlwell told Reuters he had taken the company as far as he could as a small, independent company — but he planned to continue to lead the company under Mars ownership for the next five years.

Hotel Chocolat experienced a rough financial year in its more recent fiscal, with a 10% decline in revenue and a reported loss of $7.7 million. The company has worked to expand internationally and had some small successes, but Thirlwell expects the brand will need manufacturing and infrastructure in Japan and the U.S. to continue to drive that growth. This seems more likely under Mars’ umbrella, the company believes.

It was expected the 3,000 Hotel Chocolat employees would be retained.

The deal was expected to close by the end of January.

About the Author

Andy Hanacek | Senior Editor

Andy Hanacek has covered meat, poultry, bakery and snack foods as a B2B editor for nearly 20 years, and has toured hundreds of processing plants and food companies, sharing stories of innovation and technological advancement throughout the food supply chain. In 2018, he won a Folio:Eddie Award for his unique "From the Editor's Desk" video blogs, and he has brought home additional awards from Folio and ASBPE over the years. In addition, Hanacek led the Meat Industry Hall of Fame for several years and was vice president of communications for We R Food Safety, a food safety software and consulting company.

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