Ferrara Candy owner tightlipped on ex-Hershey CEO sale rumor

By Douglas Yu & Oliver Nieburg

- Last updated on GMT

Ferrara is the largest independent candy maker in the US.  Photo: Ferrara
Ferrara is the largest independent candy maker in the US. Photo: Ferrara

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Ferrera Candy's private equity owner has refused to comment on speculation that ex-Hershey CEO David West is trying to buy the company through an investment firm. 

The New York Post last week claimed a company West co-heads had bid around $1.5bn to acquire the largest independent confectionery products maker in the US.

Private equity firm L Catterton, which owns Lemonheads maker Ferrara, declined to comment on the matter on a call with ConfectioneryNews. 

Conyers Park Acquisition

West - who served as Hershey CEO from 2007 to 2011 - co-heads Conyers Park Acquisition, which generated $402m in an initial public offering in July this year to bankroll acquisitions.

He leads the firm with the former CEO of Nabisco and the Gillette Company James M. Kilts and Brian K. Ratzan, who was previously in charge of Pamplona Capital's private equity business in the US.

Conyers Park Acquisition is an affiliate of Centerview, which was part of a group of investment firms that acquired Del Monte Foods in 2011 and sold the company's food business for $1.7bn three years later.

Centerview has previously acted as a financial advisor to companies such as Mondelēz, Kraft and SABMiller.

Ferrara's $2bn ambition 

Ferrara said earlier this year it was ont the way to becoming a $2bn company​. In March it said it would close its production facility in Minnesota​ to shift capacity to Illinois.

It produces branded and private label sugar confectionery through brands including Lemonheads, Red Hots, Black Forest and Atomic Fireballs.

In 2011, it sealed a merger fellow US company Farley's & Sathers, owner of brands such as  Brach's, Now and Later and Trolli.

Ferrara launched organic gummies ​under its Black Forrest brand a year ago to seize on the US organic candy surge.

Related topics Manufacturers Candy Hershey

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