The US confectionery giant said that with the transaction now complete, Mars is well-positioned to support Hotel Chocolat’s next growth phase and provide the brand with an enhanced platform for growth, in the UK and potentially in new geographies.
Hotel Chocolat was established as an online retailer in 2004 and enjoyed a meteoric rise with outlets on high streets across the UK before an ambitious expansion plan to crack the US and Japanese markets, lead to difficulties for the brand. Blaming inflationary pressure, weak consumer demand for ‘luxury’ chocolate, and the cost of restructuring efforts after the failed international expansion plans, the company lost £800,000 in July, falling from a pre-tax profit of £21.7 million in the previous year.
Mars bought the ailing UK brand for approximately £534 million ($662.25 million) in a deal announced to the London stock market at the end of 2023.
Andrew Clarke, Global President of Mars Snacking, said: “We are delighted to welcome Hotel Chocolat into the Mars stable of brands. Hotel Chocolat is a brand we have admired for many years, with its leading premium product offering, world-class quality, and deep omnichannel retail expertise. We are incredibly excited to partner with Angus and the rest of the Hotel Chocolat team to achieve further growth and success in the years ahead, building on our shared commitment to quality, sustainability, and purpose.”
In a statement, Angus Thirlwell, CEO and Founder, Hotel Chocolat, said: “Today marks a new and exciting chapter in Hotel Chocolat’s history which will see us join the Mars family, bringing our premium brand to the global stage. We have found a true meeting of minds in Mars – built on strong cultural values similar to our own, bold strategy and long term stewardship – and I look forward to seeing the business climb to new heights.”
- Additional information on the transaction can be found in the offer announcement.