Hershey CEO says company ‘very open to mergers and acquisitions’

By Douglas Yu contact

- Last updated on GMT

M&A to play key role in Hershey's future growth, says CEO  Pic: ©GettyImages/karenfoleyphotography
M&A to play key role in Hershey's future growth, says CEO Pic: ©GettyImages/karenfoleyphotography
Hershey’s CEO Michele Buck recently said the company is ‘very open to mergers and acquisitions,’ and sees them playing ‘a key role’ in Hershey’s growth agenda.

“We have an opportunity with mergers and acquisitions to go into space where our brands currently can’t travel,”​ she told Fortune earlier.

Hershey has previously acquired snacking chocolate brand barkTHINS​ and meat snacks company KRAVE Jerky​ in the past few years.

Buck said she envisages Hershey becoming a snacking company as opposed to a confections company in the next two to three years.

“When we look at consumers, they are now snacking more than ever before. In some occasions, they are looking for treats; in some other occasions, they look for something more nutrients-dense or perhaps better for you,” ​Buck said.

“So our Reese’s snacks, for example, has Reese’s but pretzels and peanuts etc. that offer more satiety and more of a ‘meal bridge’ type of snack.”

“I think one of our strengths as a company has always been our razor sharp focus on the consumer and on the customer,”​ she continued. “We have always exceled at having some of the best insights… that’s how you win – you must be consumer-obsessed, understanding about how the consumer lives their life, and what they are looking for.”

‘Transformative’ deal in the making?

Commenting on the potential of merging with a major player in the snacking space, Buck hinted that such opportunity is possible, even though Hershey rejected a $23bn takeover​ bid from rival confectionery firm, Mondelēz, in 2016.

“A transformative acquisition is about the right marriage of portfolios, expansion into new areas that are on trend with consumers,” ​she said. “And of course, the right price always factors into that as well, where you can really create value across two companies for consumers and into the market place.”

“We have bankers on staff, with whom we are constantly working and evaluating any number of assets that are in the marketplace,”​ Buck added.

“We have a team internally who is focused on analyzing companies that are in the snacking space to really help us to zero in on what might be the best for us,”​ she said.

Related topics: Manufacturers, Chocolate, Candy, Hershey

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1 comment

OH Really, Let’s see this time around?

Posted by Gerry,

Several years ago I met with those in charge at Hershey, who reached out to me about a possible partnership. At that time I had a brand called Carbolite that I founded. With little experience in M&A at the time, I was in hopes that this meeting was a win win for all and Evan envisioned seeing my brand CarboLite as a headline to one of the rides at your Park....only to find out that the very next day, Hershey announced for the first time ever, they were launching their sugar free line....then about 6 months after our meeting, Hershey had a competing brand they launched called One Carb. Now, both brands in the low carb space are long gone....lesson learned, however if we do it fight this time around, my current brand AlluLite, will be he next Billion dollar brand! AlluLite rare sugar chocolates to help those who should stay away from sugar for their health to include type 1&2, Pre-Diabetic and those on low carb diets. This is 100% bigger and better than both One Carb And CarboLite. I look forward to meeting with Michelle Buck and building value together. AlluLite is the company. Thanks Gerry Morrison Founder

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