The Ferrero Group signed a definitive agreement to acquire Kellogg Co.'s cookie and fruit snack businesses for $1.3 billion.
As part of the transaction, Ferrero will acquire a cookie portfolio that
includes the iconic Keebler and Famous Amos brands, as well as premium family cookie brand Mother's, Murray sugar free cookies, and Little Brownie Bakers, supplier of Girl Scout cookies. The company will also pick up Stretch Island and Fruity Snacks, as well as Keebler's ice cream cones and pie crusts products.
Combined, these businesses generated approximately $900 million in sales in 2018.
"We are acquiring a portfolio of well-established brands that consumers love, with very strong market positions across their respective categories, allowing us to significantly diversify our portfolio and capitalize on exciting new growth opportunities in the world's largest cookies market," Ferrero Group CEO Lapo Civiletti said.
Since 2017, Ferrero has acquired several U.S. brands and businesses. With this transaction, the company will enter into new strategic product categories and will further strengthen its position in the North American market, according to Ferrero.
"Kellogg Co.'s cookie, fruit snack, ice cream cone and pie crust businesses are an excellent strategic fit for Ferrero as we continue to increase our overall footprint and product offerings in the North American market," said Giovanni Ferrero, executive chairman of the Ferrero Group. "With this transaction, I look forward to bringing many iconic Kellogg brands into the Ferrero portfolio, to welcoming our new colleagues to the extended Ferrero community, and to continuing Ferrero's strong track record of growing brands, as we have through our successful acquisitions of Fannie May, Ferrara Candy Co., and the former Nestlé U.S. confectionery business. We have great respect for Kellogg, its legacy and values, and are proud that Kellogg has chosen Ferrero as a good home for these businesses."
Ferrero will also acquire six of Kellogg's food manufacturing facilities located across the country in Allyn, Wash.; Augusta, Ga.; Florence and Louisville, Ky.; and two plants in Chicago, as well as a leased manufacturing facility in Baltimore.
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. It is expected to close in the second half of the year.
JP Morgan Securities plc and Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP served as advisors to Ferrero.
Founded as a family business in Alba, Italy in 1946, Ferrero is the third-largest company in the global chocolate confectionery market, with sales of more than $12 billion and distribution in more than 170 countries.
Originally published at Convenience Store News.