Huhtamaki has offloaded its confectionery portfolio, which includes brands such as Jolly Rancher and Milk Duds, to US-based investment firm Highlander Partners.
Other brands that form part of the deal include Payday, Whoppers, Heath, Sixlets, Good & Plenty, Zero, Chuckles, and Good & Fruity.
These acquired assets will be held in a newly-created entity that is fully owned by Highlander Partners and its affiliates and will continue being licensed to The Hershey Company under the same terms and conditions.
In a statement, Highlander highlighted the “strong consumer following” of the acquired confectionery brands, which it claims “are available at most US brick-and-mortar and online retailers”.
Alex Guiva, partner at Highlander, said: “Because Highlander has its own proprietary capital, we can be flexible, creative and non-bureaucratic when structuring and executing acquisitions, as demonstrated by this transaction. These are exceptional brands that are well known to everyone since childhood.”
He added: “Many generations grew up loving their taste and will continue to enjoy them. We are proud and excited to be involved with these iconic brands and view them as a great investment that uniquely fits Highlander’s long-term investment strategy.”
Managing partner of Highland Partners Jeff L. Hill said: “Highlander Partners made three investments in the confection space in the last two years, including this one. We remain fully committed to this category and we also have a strong focus on investing in the food and beverage categories, both consumer products and ingredients, having closed more than 20 transactions in those industries in the last ten years.
“In addition, with the acquisition of the above-mentioned trademarks, we will continue the strategy of evaluating and acquiring valuable intellectual property, brands, trademarks and related royalty assets in food, beverage, and other industries.”
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