Milk Duds - now owned by Highlander Partners.

Milk Duds - now owned by Highlander Partners.

US investment firm Highlander Partners has acquired a portfolio of ten well known confectionery brands, including Milk Duds and Jolly Rancher.

It has bought the brands from Huhtamaki Oyj, a global food and beverage packaging company headquartered in Espoo, Finland. They will continue to be licensed to confectionery giant Hershey

The other brands purchased are Payday, Whoppers, Heath, Sixlets, Good & Plenty, Zero, Chuckles and Good & Fruity.

Dallas-based Highlander said the acquired assets will be held in a newly-created entity that is fully-owned by Highlander Partners and its affiliates. 

Financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed.

Highlander has previously made investments in the confectionery sector through its acquisitions of Bettera Brands, a holding company for Gimbal's, a manufacturer of jelly beans and gummy vitamins, and Hillside Candy, a manufacturer of organic, sugar-free and medicated confections.

In January, it bought US popcorn seasoning business Kernel Season's.

In connection with Highlander's latest transaction, Alex Guiva, a partner at the private-equity firm, said: "These are exceptional brands that are well known to everyone since childhood. Everyone has a favourite. 

"Many generations grew up loving their taste and will continue to enjoy them. We are proud and excited to be involved with these iconic brands and view them as a great investment that uniquely fits Highlander's long-term investment strategy."