The Ferrero Group has won out in the race to acquire the cookie business of Kellogg Co., comprising Keebler and other brands.
A $1.3 billion deal was announced April 1 between Kellogg and the Italian food giant, whose U.S. brands include Nutella spread and former Nestlé candy brands like Butterfinger. The sale will also include eight manufacturing facilities and the takeover on the lease of a ninth. The deal is expected to close by the end of July.
Ferrero beat out Hostess Brands and B&G Foods for Kellogg’s cookie business. The acquisition includes Keebler’s cookie, ice-cream-cone and pie-crust business, as well as Famous Amos, Mother’s, Little Brownie Bakers (supplier of Girl Scout cookies) and fruit snacks. The sale is part of Kellogg’s strategy to pare what are seen as ancillary brands in an effort to concentrate on core businesses. Ferrero, for its part, is following its own strategy of snapping up neglected brands from other large companies.
“We have great respect for Kellogg, its legacy and values, and are proud that Kellogg has chosen Ferrero as a good home for these businesses,” Giovanni Ferrero, executive chairman of the Ferrero Group, said in a statement.