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June 1, 2021

Acquisitive Ferrero adds to snacks portfolio with Burton’s buy

Ferrero, the Italy-based snacks major, has moved to expand its portfolio again with a deal to buy the UK's Burton’s Biscuit Company.

The Ferrero Rocher and Nutella spreads owner said an affiliated holding company of Ferrero, CTH in Belgium, has entered a “definitive agreement” to acquire Burton’s from the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan in Canada. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The transaction for the maker of Jammie Dodgers and Wagon Wheels includes six UK manufacturing facilities, located in Blackpool, Dorset, Edinburgh, Livingston, Llantarnam and the Isle of Arran.

Last year, through CTH, Ferrero acquired the bulk of UK business Fox’s Biscuits from 2 Sisters Food Group.

Just before Christmas, Ferrero announced the purchase of UK cereal bars, muesli and granola business Eat Natural.

In 2019, CTH snapped up Denmark-based snacks business Kelsen, owner of brands including Kjeldsens Butter Cookies, from Campbell Soup Co. for US$300m. Four years ago, CTH acquired Belgian biscuits business Delacre.

In April of the same year, Ferrero struck a deal to buy a clutch of biscuit and snack brands in the US from Kellogg for US$1.3bn. That purchase followed a series of acquisitions by Ferrero in North America in the previous two years.

The deal for Burton’s will add a company to the Ferrero portfolio with sales over the last 12 months of GBP275m (US$389.8m) and around 2,000 employees.

Headquartered in St. Albans, a city in the south of England, Burton’s was acquired by the Toronto-based pension fund in 2013. It supplies a number of biscuit brands to major UK retailers such as Maryland Cookies, as well as the Jammie Dodgers and Wagon Wheels lines. The biscuit maker’s portfolio also features shortbread and chutney from Paterson Arran, a Scotland-based business purchased by Burton’s in 2019.

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