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April 26, 2021

Tony’s Chocolonely expands in Europe through M&A

By Dean Best

Netherlands-based ethically-sourced confectionery business Tony’s Chocolonely has acquired chocolate manufacturer Althaea-De Laet International for an undisclosed sum.

Family-owned De Laet International NV was founded in Belgium in 1960 and then took Althaea NV under its wings through a merger in 1987 to form what is now described as the Althaea-De Laet International chocolate factory, which produces bars and tablets for private-label clients, including Tony’s under a “long-term” partnership. 

Fairtrade and B Corp-certified Tony’s was established in 2005 by three Dutch journalists to make 100% slave-free chocolate. It said the deal for Althaea-De Laet International marks a “strategic milestone” for the company by enabling the business “to innovate faster and be more flexible on a production level while scaling up its manufacturing capacity”.

Anne-Wil Dijkstra, the COO at Tony’s, said in a statement: “It’s an exciting next step for Tony’s Chocolonely as a fast-growing impact company that wants to change a whole industry from within and make 100% slave free the norm in chocolate. We’re very grateful for this opportunity and the trust they have in Tony’s to honour and safeguard the future of this company.”

Amsterdam-based Tony's also has offices in Germany and the UK, and the US. Just over a year ago, the business attracted an undisclosed investment from Belgium-based private-equity firm Verlinvest and JamJar Investments, a fund set up by the founders of UK-based smoothie maker Innocent Drinks.

Ingrid Bryssinck, the managing director of Althaea-De Laet International, added in the statement: "Owing to the fact that we as a family have no direct succession, we were looking for a partner, an entrepreneur, who could continue our dream with the same spirit and passion. And we have found this partner in the team of Tony's Chocolonely. We trust that Tony's will ensure that Althaea-De Laet has a bright future while maintaining our values of caring for the team, quality, and collegiality."

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