Sector News

Ferrero reaches deal to buy some United Biscuits brands

November 28, 2016
Food & Drink

Italian chocolate maker Ferrero International SA said Friday it has reached a deal to buy some of the assets controlled by United Biscuits Ltd.

Ferrero made an offer for Belgian cookie firms Delacre and Delichoc and for two biscuit plants in France and Belgium, all part of the United Biscuits group, which is controlled by Pladis.

The company declined to disclose the value of the deal, which will require antitrust approval.

U.K.-based United Biscuits was sold in 2014 to Turkey’s Yildiz Holdings, which controls Pladis.

The acquisition by Ferrero signals the company’s intention to expand within a relatively new business sector: biscuits, or cookies.

The maker of Nutella and Tic Tac, which had for years had shunned acquisitions as it sought to grow only through internal development, is now working on its second brand acquisition in less than two years.

Last June it bought Thorntons PLC, a century-old company known for its toffee and fudge, in a bid to strengthen its foothold in the U.K.

In an interview earlier this year, Chief Executive Giovanni Ferrero said the company was looking for more acquisition targets that could complement the company’s existing offerings.

Ferrero launched its first product in the cookie segment last year and is now testing a new biscuit, made with a Nutella filling, in the Italian market.

Pladis didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

By Manuela Mesco

Source: Wall Street Journal

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