Ferrero International S.A. has reached a deal to buy chocolate manufacturer Fannie May Confections Brands from 1-800 Flowers.com Inc. (Nasdaq: FLWS). Fannie May will operate as a standalone entity and brand under the Ferrero Group as part of the deal.
Fannie May is a Chicago, Illinois-based manufacturer of chocolates and confections founded in 1920. The target operates a production facility in Ohio, with distribution centers in Ohio and Illinois. 1-800 Flowers, a provider of multi-brand gourmet candy and floral gifts, purchased Fannie May in 2006 for approximately $85 million. The target’s main distribution channels include online e-commerce platforms, telephone, QVC home shopping channel, retails stores, and private-label manufacturing capabilities.
“The U.S. 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 U.S.,” states Ferrero Group CEO Giovanni Ferrero. Separate from the deal, Ferrero is forming a strategic partnership with 1-800 Flowers to include select Ferrero and Fannie May products in the seller’s gift baskets, towers and e-commerce website.
Ferrero, founded in 1946, is a global chocolate confectionery manufacturer founded in Piedmont, Italy. The company’s roots date back to 1946 and now owns multiple popular brands including Nutella hazelnut spread and Tic Tac breath mints. Ferrero anticipates global sales to exceed more than $11 billion this year. Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP served as legal counsel to Ferrero.
Other candy company acquisitions include: Ferrero’s $177 million bid for London-based chocolatier Thortons Plc; Cloetta AB’s acquisition of candy company Goody Good Stuff; Godiva owner buying DeMet’s Candy Co. for its chocolate turtles; and Hershey’s (NYSE: HSY) deal to diversify by purchasing jerky maker Krave Pure Foods.