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April 1, 2019

Ferrero ‘closes in on Kellogg’s up-for-sale cookies and snacks assets’

Italian confectioner Ferrero is reportedly close to securing a deal for Kellogg's North American cookies and snacks businesses.

By Dean Best

Italian confectioner Ferrero is reportedly close to securing a deal for Kellogg’s North American cookies and snacks businesses put up for sale last year.

A deal for the Keebler, Famous Amos and Stretch Island brands could be announced as soon as today (1 April) in a transaction worth US$1bn to $1.5bn, according to news service CNBC, quoting unnamed sources familiar with the proceedings.

Ferrero, which recently snapped up Nestlé’s US confectionery business and US sweets manufacturer Ferrera Candy Co., was said to be among the two front runners to secure the brands alongside US-based Hostess Brands.

Michigan-based Kellogg announced a plan to sell the business units last November to “enable the company to bring a sharper focus to its core businesses”. At the time, chief executive and chairman of the New York-listed breakfast cereals producer Steve Cahillane said Kellogg needed to “make strategic choices about our business and these brands have had difficulty competing for resources and investments within our portfolio”. 

It seems Ferrero has beaten off competition for the Kellogg assets from Hostess Brands. During the early days of the sale process, US-based B&G Foods and a number of private-equity funds were also said to be vying for the businesses.

Owner of Nutella spreads and Tic Tac sweets, Ferrero also has the candy labels Trolli and Lemonheads under its wing following the purchase of Ferrara. And through the deal for Nestlé’s US confectionery business it also owns the Butterfinger and Raisinets brands. In 2017, Ferrero snapped up another US candy firm, Fannie May Confections Brands.

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just-food has reached out to Ferrero and Kellogg to comment on the imminent deal.

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