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Ferrero International to acquire U.S. company Fannie May Confections

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LUXEMBOURG — Ferrero International has entered into an agreement to acquire Fannie May Confections from 1-800-Flowers.com, Inc., Carle Place, N.Y. The company has one manufacturing plant, two distribution centers and employs 750.

Once the transaction is complete, Ferrero said Fannie May will operate as a standalone entity and brand within the Ferrero Group.

The price of the acquisition is $115 million.

The company also said it will continue to operate a network of Fannie May retail stores, with plans to grow the network over time.

“Fannie May brings great people and a valuable manufacturing, distribution and retail network to Ferrero’s expanding U.S. presence,” said Paul Chibe, president and chief executive officer, Ferrero North America.

“We plan to build on the Fannie May organization to support the growth of the Fannie May and Harry London brands. We are confident there are significant opportunities to enhance Fannie May’s growth, leveraging Ferrero’s capabilities to sell new products through a substantially larger base of channels.”

Fannie May’s primary distribution channels include on-line, leveraging 1-800-Flowers.com’s e-commerce platform, telephone, home shopping channel, and retail stores operated by Fannie May.

As part of the transaction, 1-800-Flowers.com will enter into an agreement that will allow it to continue to sell Fannie May, Harry London and certain Ferrero confectionery products in its e-commerce channels as well as gift baskets sold into the club, food, drug and mass merchandising channels in the United States.

“This transaction will further strengthen our balance sheet while concurrently reducing the working capital requirements in our business model,” said Chris McCann, chief executive officer of 1-800-Flowers.com.

“Importantly, the strategic commercial agreement with Ferrero will enable us to continue offering the iconic Fannie May and Harry London chocolate brands across our e-commerce and wholesale channels and expand our product offerings to include some of Ferrero’s world-renowned chocolate confectionery brands, including Nutella, Ferrero Rocher and Raffaello.”

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals and is expected to close by May 30, 2017.

Keith Nunes