Ferrero has agreed to acquire Fannie May, a US confectioner which makes a variety of premium boxed chocolate products.
As well as its Harry London and Fannie May brands, the company operates a network of 80 retail stores and is found in conventional retail too. It also runs a range of private label and contract manufacturing activities, with a production facility in Ohio and distribution centres in Ohio and Illinois. It employs 750 people full-time.
The seller is online florist 1-800 Flowers, with which Ferrero will sign a further commercial partnership agreement before the transaction closes regarding some of Fannie May’s products and sales channels.
According to Ferrero, under 1-800 Flowers’ stewardship, Fannie May ‘had grown into one of the most well-known premium confectionery brands in the Midwest’. The deal will allow the Italian confectionery group to expand further outside of its traditional retail market in Europe.
Ferrero chief executive Giovanni Ferrero said: “Fannie May represents a strong strategic and cultural fit for Ferrero and we are happy that Fannie May’s talented people, premium brand and quality products will become part of the Ferrero Group. The US is an important growth market for Ferrero and we are excited about the opportunity to support and grow a great American brand as we continue to expand our presence in the US.”
Ferrero North America president and CEO Paul Chibe added: “Fannie May brings great people and a valuable manufacturing, distribution and retail network to Ferrero’s expanding US presence. We plan to build on the Fannie May organisation to support the growth of the Fannie May and Harry London brands. We are confident there are significant opportunities to enhance Fannie May’s growth, leveraging Ferrero’s capabilities to sell new products through a substantially larger base of channels.”
Upon completion, Fannie May will operate as a standalone entity and brand within the Ferrero Group, with support from Ferrero USA.
The company will retain Fannie May’s distribution and production centres, and intends to grow its network of retail stores over time.
The deal is expected to close by the end of May.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2017