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November 30, 2007

FINLAND: Cloetta Fazer buys Finnish gum maker

Nordic confectioner Cloetta Fazer has acquired Finland-based Fennobon, a specialist in sugar-free chewing gum and candies.

Nordic confectioner Cloetta Fazer has acquired Finland-based Fennobon, a specialist in sugar-free chewing gum and candies.

Fennobon is the third-largest company operating in the Finnish chewing gum market and the country’s only domestic manufacturer of chewing gum. The company’s well-known brands include XyliDent- and Mumin xylitol chewing gum.

“We are seeking growth by diversifying into product areas where we currently have a weak position or none at all,” Cloetta Fazer’s CEO Jesper Åberg. 

“Consumers in Finland have shown a preference for sugar-free chewing gum for many years and this trend is also visible in other European countries. We see major potential to expand in this segment. Fennobon is an innovative player and we are very pleased with the knowledge and opportunities this company brings to us.”

Fennobon has its factory in Karkkila, Finland, northwest of the capital city of Helsinki. The company was established in 1990 and has 42 employees. In 2006 Fennobon reported annual sales of around SEK66m (EUR6m). Of the total sales volume, around 40% is exported to countries like Japan, the US and Germany.

All of Fennobon’s products are made at the production facility in Karkkila and production is planned to remain there. Cloetta Fazer’s growth target in the chewing gum segment also calls for increased production capacity at the factory, the company said.

“Our aim is to grow and strengthen our brands, and we believe that we will have better scope for ongoing development of the company as part of Cloetta Fazer,” said Miska Kuusela, managing director of Fennobon.

The transfer of ownership will take place on 1 January. The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price, a statement said.

Chewing gum makes up around 10% of Finland’s confectionery market. The corresponding share in Sweden is 6%.

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