Chocolate-maker Ferrero buys Nestlé's US confectionery business

The Ferrero Group will pay €2.28bn in cash

Chocolate-maker Ferrero buys Nestlé's US confectionery business

A shopper chooses a bag of Nestlé's brand chocolate candy in a store in New York | Image: Richard B. Levine/SIPA USA/PA Images

Chocolate-maker Ferrero has announced it is to buy the US confectionery business of Nestlé. 

The Ferrero Group will pay US$2.8bn (€2.28bn) in cash.

Nestlé's US confectionary business generated sales of around US$900m (€733.6m) in 2016.

As part of the sale, Italian-based Ferrero will acquire more than 20 American brands including Butterfinger, Wonka and Crunch.

The sale will see Ferrero become the third-largest confectionary company in the US market.

The company will also acquire several US manufacturing facilities of Nestlé's in Illinois, California and New Jersey.

Ferrero already has a US presence, with brands such as Tic Tac, Ferrero Rocher and Nutella already sold there.

Giovanni Ferrero, executive chairman of the Ferrero Group, said: "We are very excited about the acquisition of Nestlé's US confectionary business, which has an outstanding portfolio of iconic brands with rich histories and tremendous awareness.

"In combination with Ferrero’s existing US presence, including the recently acquired Fannie May Confections Brands and the Ferrara Candy Company, we will have substantially greater scale, a broader offering of high-quality products to customers across the chocolate snack, sugar confectionary and seasonal categories, and exciting new growth opportunities in the world’s largest confectionary market.

"We look forward to welcoming the talented team from Nestlé to Ferrero and to continuing to invest in and grow all of our products and brands in this key strategic and attractive market."

The sale is subject to conditions and regulatory approvals.

It is is expected to be completed around the end of the first quarter of 2018.