Ferrero closes US$2.8-billion deal with Nestlé

Italian chocolate and confectionery manufacturer adds more than 20 brands to its portfolio

Italy’s Ferrero has officially added more than 20 iconic chocolate and candy brands to its portfolio, including SweeTarts, Nerds, Butterfinger and Crunch, with the completion of its US$2.8-billion deal with Nestlé.

“This is an important moment for the Ferrero Group, and we are confident that our commitment to deliver value to North American consumers and customers will be strongly enhanced by the addition of these powerful brands to our portfolio,” said Lapo Civiletti, CEO of the Ferrero Group, in a press release announcing the closing of the deal.

It was first reported late last summer that the Nutella maker was interested in purchasing Nestlé’s U.S. confections portfolio as a way to boost its presence in North America and to expand beyond Nutella, Tic Tacs and Ferrero Rocher chocolates.

Nestlé, meanwhile, has been looking to free up resources in order to shift its focus to higher growth areas such as pet food, coffee and meal delivery.

In September, Nestlé announced it bought a majority stake in Blue Bottle Coffee, a high-end coffee company. Other Nestlé brands include Purina, Gerber and Stouffer’s.