Nutella buys Butterfinger and Baby Ruth

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Nutella buys Butterfinger and Baby Ruth

By Gina Acosta - 01/16/2018

Nestle, the maker of Butterfinger and other brands, is taking a major step toward focusing on health and wellness by selling its U.S. confectionery business to Nutella maker Ferrero for $2.8 billion.

The deal makes Ferrero the third-largest company in the global chocolate confectionary market and the Nestle deal only strengthens its worldwide position.

Nestlé’s U.S. confectionary business generated sales of approximately $900 million in 2016.

Ferrero will acquire Nestlé’s U.S. manufacturing facilities in Bloomington, Franklin Park and Itasca, Illinois, and the confectionary-related employees, and will continue to operate through the offices in Glendale, California, as well as from its other current locations in Illinois and in New Jersey.

“We are very excited about the acquisition of Nestlé’s U.S. confectionary business, which has an outstanding portfolio of iconic brands with rich histories and tremendous awareness," said Giovanni Ferrero, Executive Chairman of the Ferrero Group. "In combination with Ferrero’s existing U.S. 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 transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals and is expected to close around the end of the first quarter of 2018.

Founded as a family business in Alba, Italy in 1946, Ferrero is the third-largest company in the global chocolate confectionary market, with global sales of over $12 billion, distribution across over 170 countries, and a workforce of more than 30,000 people across 55 countries.

Ferrero entered the U.S. in 1969 with Tic Tac breath mints, which have become an icon in the breath mint market, and subsequently introduced Ferrero Rocher pralines and Nutella hazelnut spread to the U.S. market. Ferrero recently acquired U.S. chocolate company Fannie May Confections Brands, which through its Fannie May and Harry London brands provides offerings across key categories including chocolate bars, pralines and other snacks, as well as Ferrara Candy Company, a leader in gummy and seasonal confectionary with brands such as Trolli, Brach’s and Black Forest.