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Katjes International acquires Cloetta’s struggling Italian arm

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By Oliver Nieburg+

06-Jul-2017
Last updated on 18-Jul-2017 at 10:23 GMT2017-07-18T10:23:58Z

Cloetta brands Sperlari and Galatine included in the $531m deal. Photo: Cloetta
Cloetta brands Sperlari and Galatine included in the $531m deal. Photo: Cloetta

Katjes International has snapped up Cloetta’s Italian operation for SEK 450m ($54.3m*).

Funded by $106m corporate bond

Photo: Joseph Manner

Katjes International last month acquired a 5.7% stake in Austrian wafer maker Joseph Manner.  It came after Katjes International in May this year increased its corporate bond issued – first issued in May 2015  - by €35m ($39m) last month to bankroll acquisitions. This took its total corporate bond to €95m ($106m).

The deal for Cloetta Italy includes the brands Sperlari, Saila, Dietor, Galatine and Dietorelle, as well as factories in Cremona, San Pietro in Casale, Gordona and Silvi Marina.

Cloetta had around 400 employees in 2016 and annual sales of SEK 745m ($89.8m).

The acquisition is not subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close in Q3 2017.

It makes Cloetta the number two player in Italian sugar confectionery with an 18% share, behind market leader Perfetti Van Melle, according to Euromonitor value sales data.

Katjes: Expanding market position

Tobias Bachmüller, managing director of Katjes International, said: "As the fourth largest market in Western Europe, Italy has always been a focus of our strong portfolio to expand market position.

“By acquiring the number two in Italy and its established brands, we have made a significant step towards further growth," he said [German translation].

Cloetta: Focusing on North-West Europe

Henri de Sauvage-Nolting, CEO of Cloetta, said: “This is a very good solution for all parties and follows Cloetta’s strategy to focus more on its business in North-Western Europe including the recently acquired Candyking business.”

Cloetta Italy factories

Cremona factory. Source: Cloetta

Cremona - 6,400 MT
Gordona, 6,200 MT
San Pietro in Casale - 2,100 MT
Silvi Marina  - 1,100 MT
[2015 data from Cloetta’s annual report]

Cloetta acquired Swedish pick & mix firm Candyking for $37m in February this year.

Cloetta said in January this year it was considering selling its Italian arm (12-13% of group sales), after the Italian economy and price hikes hit its sales in the country.

Euromonitor forecasts a 1% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) decline in retail volume and values sales in Italy’s sugar confectionery market up to 2021.

*Correction - This article previously overstated the purchase price in US dollars. The correct purchase price is around $54.3m.

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