MILAN – Ferrero SpA, the maker of Nutella spread, and the third biggest chocolate producer and confectionery company in the world, has the sweet snack division of Nestlé U.S. in its sights, according to reports.
For Ferrero, this would be an unprecedented attack on the lucrative U.S. market as well as its biggest takeover in its history, worth $3 billion
Based on rumors reported by the news agency Dealreporter, Ferrero has hired an investment bank to study the dossier. Ferrero has already expanded in the U.S. market with the purchase of Fannie May Confections Brands, a producer of quality chocolate, for $115 million in cash.
On its part Nestlé announced on June 15 that it was exploring strategic options for its U.S. confectionery division, including a potential sale.
Big opportunity for growth
The division includes products such as Butterfinger and BabyRuth. It generated about $900 million turnover in 2016. For Ferrero, it could be a big opportunity for growth in the U.S.
Ferrero declined to offer any comment for the story. “We do not comment on speculation,” was the response from the company’s headquarter in Alba.
Carlo Festa and Simone Filippetti