Ferrero will now make Wonka: The Ferrero Group gobbles up Nestle's US confectionary business for $2.8bn

Lucy White
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Ferrero makes Nutella, Ferrero Rochers and Tic Tacs (Source: Getty)

In a tasty confectionery deal, The Ferrero Group – manufacturer of Kinder sweets and Nutella – has announced it will acquire Nestle's US sweets business for $2.8bn.

Ferrero, the world's third largest confectionery company, will acquire 20 American brands including Laffy Taffy, Wonka and Butterfinger. It will also get its hands on the exclusive right to the Crunch brand in the US.

The maker of Ferrero Rocher treats will take on Nestle's manufacturing facilities in Bloomington, Franklin Park and Itasca, Illinois, and the confectionery-related employees.

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"We will have substantially greater scale, a broader offering of high-quality products to customers across the chocolate snack, sugar confectionery and seasonal categories, and exciting new growth opportunities in the world’s largest confectionery market," said Ferrero Group's executive chairman Giovanni Ferrero.

For Nestle, the deal comes after Daniel Loeb's hedge fund Third Point bought a stake in the Kit Kat maker last year. Third Point wanted to make ambitious changes at the chocolate giant, and said it had identified a number of "non-core" businesses.

In the UK, Ferrero is the fourth largest chocolate company with a turnover of £483m and a market share of seven per cent.

Founded as a family business in Italy in 1946, Ferrero entered the UK market in 1966 and acquired Thorntons in 2015. It now employs approximately 3,500 people in the country, including in its factory in Alfreton, and operates approximately 200 shops nationally.

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