Italy-based Ferrero Group, owner of the Nutella brand, will purchase Ferrara Candy, Oak Brook Terrace, Ill., which produces brands such as Trolli, Brach's and Lemonhead. The move will expand Ferrero's market penetration further into the U.S., where it plans to debut Tic Tac gum and Kinder Joy candies next year. It also gives Ferrero access to more candy business categories.
The acquisition has been reviewed by the Federal Trade Commission. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The deal will help Ferrero boost its overall footprint and product offerings in the U.S., and give it a presence in additional confectionery categories. Ferrara will operate as a separate unit, from its existing facilities, reported the Chicago Tribune. Ferrero already owns a former crosstown rival, Fannie May, after buying the brand from 1-800-Flowers.com earlier this year.
The company expects to roll out Tic Tac gum and Kinder Joy, a European candy, to U.S. stores in January 2018, and it recently opened the first Nutella Cafe in Chicago's Loop.
L Catterton, a private equity firm, listed Ferrara for sale last year but took it off the block in early 2017, according media reports at the time. The firm originally bought Ferrara Pan Candy in 2012, merged it with Farley’s & Sathers Candy Co., then shortened the name. Ferrara Pan started in Chicago in 1908; the first product it sold was sugar-coated almonds, popular at Italian weddings. It reports it's now the largest nonchocolate candy-maker in the U.S., with more than $1 billion in annual sales, the Chicago Tribune adds.
Ferrara says on its website it has 3,250 employees. It stated that “further consolidation” is not expected to come along with the acquisition.