Finnish firm Raisio has acquired Czech confectionery company Candy Plus for €20.5m ($26m) to expand its global footprint.
Paul Simmonds, vice president, Consumer Brands at Raisio, told ConfectioneryNews.com: "Part of our strategy is to extend our market reach and Candy Plus does that for us. We now have a trading platform in Eastern Europe."
Raisio's confectionery operation Big Bear, which includes brands such as Fox’s mints operates mainly in the UK, but it has now moved into new markets with the Candy Plus deal.
Candy Plus manufactures soft-eating, higher-fruit jellies, licorice and functional confectionery. Simmonds said that Candy Plus was not a Czech-centric business with only 25% sales coming domestically and the rest coming in export markets, such as Russia, Eastern Europe and Australasia. Around 25% of the sales come from the UK.
“With the acquisition, Raisio will be able to make better use of synergies in its confectionery operations, which will be seen in increased flexibility and improved cost-effectiveness,” said Raisio in its release.
For example, Simmonds said Raisio could use Candy Plus' sales networks to expand distribution of its own snack bars.
Raisio, the company behind Benecol and Honey Monster, said it will finance the deal from its cash reserves.
Candy Plus profile
Candy Plus’ net sales totaled €23.3m in 2011 and profits (EBITDA) stood at €2.9m.
The company has €17.6m in assets, including its two production sites in Eastern Czech Republic.
Raisio said it will retain all of Candy Plus’ 400 employees and will invest in a new fruit licorice line.
Candy Plus’ consumers brands account for 40% of net sales and include Juicee Gummee, Fundy, Pedro and Cuksy.
Candy Plus' other area of business activity is contract manufacturing. Simmonds said that Raisio hopes to retain Candy Plus' existing customer base in this area.