Ferrero Buys Ferrara

Trolli packaging

Global confectionary company Ferrero Group has extended its portfolio (and possibly ended industry confusion) signing a deal to acquire Ferrara Candy Co., the third-largest U.S. non-chocolate confectionary company, from private equity firm LCatterton.

A major player in gummy and seasonal candies, Ferrara's brand portfolio includes Trolli, Brachs, and Black Forest Organics. The third-largest company chocolate confectioner globally via brands such as Ferrero Rocher, Nutella, and Fannie May, Ferrero is best known in the U.S. for its Tic Tac breath mints.

“We are pleased to welcome the Ferrara business, brands and people to Ferrero. With this acquisition, we are continuing to increase our overall footprint and product offering in the important U.S. market, establishing a presence in new confectionary categories with attractive growth prospects, including gummy and seasonal candies," said executive chairman Giovanni Ferrero. "We look forward to continuing to grow the Ferrara business, investing in its brands to support expansion plans, leveraging its U.S. manufacturing plants and distribution centers, and creating opportunities for its talented people.”

“We are pleased to announce this agreement with Ferrero, which will enable the continued growth and momentum behind our iconic and well-loved brands,” said Todd Siwak, Ferrara's chief executive officer. “Joining forces … gives us the opportunity to accelerate our growth plans in the U.S. and international markets and share best practices as part of a larger, stronger organization.”

Alba, Italy-based Ferrero expects to operate Ferrara as a separate unit and maintain the company's headquarters in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois. Ferrara has already consolidated its manufacturing and distribution footprint to four plants in Bellwood and Forest Park, Illinois, and Reynosa and Vernell, Mexico; two distribution centers in Bolingbrook, Illinois and Grand Prairie, Texas, and an engineering and R&D center in Bellwood, Illinois. There are no plans for additional consolidation.

The transaction is expected to close in fourth quarter. Terms were not disclosed.