The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Ferrara is best known for making gummy candies brand Trolli, and organic fruity candy Black Forest Organics. Ferrero is famous for its Ferrero Rocher, Nutella, and Tic Tac breath mints, as well as recently-acquired Fannie May Confections.
Ferrero enters gummy category
Giovanni Ferrero, executive chairman of the Ferrero Group, said: “With the acquisition, we are continuing to increase our overall footprint and product offering in the important US market, establishing a presence in new confectionery categories with attractive growth prospects, including gummy and seasonal candies.”
Ferrero expects to operate Ferrara as a separate unit and to maintain Ferrara’s headquarters in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois.
The Italian confectionery giant also noted that Ferrara has consolidated its manufacturing footprint to four plants – Bellwood and Forest Park, Illinois, and two others in Mexico.
Todd Siwak, CEO of Ferrara, said: “Joining forces with Ferrero gives us the opportunity to accelerate our growth plans in the US and international markets and share best practices as part of a larger, stronger organization.”
Nestlé US confectionery sale
Recent media reports speculate that Ferrara, along with Hershey and Leaf Brands, were recently among companies submitting an initial bid on Nestlé’s US chocolate and candy division.
However, Ferrero declined to comment on whether Ferrara will continue to bid for Nestlé’s $2.5bn US candy business.
A spokesperson from Ferrara told ConfectioneryNews the acquisition does not necessarily mean the company will drop out of the bidding process, and provided no further comment.
Both Ferrero and Ferrara are currently attending the NACS Show in Chicago, Illinois (Oct 17 to 20, 2017).