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Family-controlled Ferrero is one of world's biggest confectioners with a collection of international brands including Ferrero Rocher specialty chocolates, Nutella spread and Tic Tac mints. But its most important brand is Kinder, which encompasses a large number of different confectionery products, including Kinder Surprise and Kinder Joy toy eggs, Kinder Bueno chocolate bars and a variety of other treats, cakes and chilled desserts. Kinder is one of Italy's most international masterbrands with global sales in excess of €2bn. At home the group markets a substantial range of additional products including beverages, and it also has an extensive presence in Germany, traditionally its second-biggest market, but more recently overtaken by the US. For years, the group had stood apart from the rest of the global confectionery industry, but it has gradually been drawn into the increasing consolidation within the sector since 2010. It rebuffed a takeover early in that decade from Nestle and after that began to slowly but steadily expand its global footprint with a few carefully chosen acquisitions of its own, including boxed chocolate specialists Russell Stover and Thorntons and US sugar candy company Ferrara. Its most ambitious deal to-date was the purchase of Nestle USA's confectionery division in 2018 for $2.8bn, adding Butterfinger, Crunch, Baby Ruth, Wonka candy and others to the portfolio. That deal made Ferrero the #3 in US confectionery after Mars and Mondelez. It was followed soon afterwards by deals for Kelloggs' US cookie business Keebler, Danish biscuit maker Kelsen, Spanish private label ice cream manufacturer ICFC and the British biscuit makers Fox's and Burton's. The European biscuit businesses are not owned directly by Ferrero but by an affiliated holdings company in Belgium, CTH Invest. The group is owned and led by chairman Giovanni Ferrero, grandson of the company's founders, husband and wife Pietro and Piera Ferrero who opened a small bar and patisserie in Alba in Northern Italy in 1942. Lapo Civiletti was appointed as CEO of Ferrero Group in 2017. The privately owned business divulges little financial information, but reported revenues for the year ending Aug 2019 of €11.4bn.
Capsule checked 25th August 2020
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Historical profile information for Ferrero
Marketer Moves 30th Nov 2021: New global president of sugar confectionery TBC at Ferrero. See Marketer Moves (members only).
Adbrands Daily Update 1st Jun 2021: The Ferrero chequebook got another outing this week. Family-owned investment company CTH Invest agreed to acquire the UK biscuit maker Burton's Biscuits for an undisclosed sum. CTH acquired Burton's UK rival Fox's last year and also owns Delacre of Belgium and Danish company Kelsen. Burton's brands include Jammie Dodgers, Maryland Cookies and Wagon Wheels, with combined sales of around £275m a year. The deal confirms the Ferrero family empire as the UK's second largest biscuit producer after Mondelez.
Adbrands Daily Update 17th Dec 2020: In yet another addition to its portfolio, the highly acquisitive Ferrero agreed to buy UK manufacturer Eat Natural, which makes snack bars and granola cereals, for an undisclosed sum. Eat Natural reported revenues of £35m for its latest financial year to Mar 2020.
Adbrands Daily Update 7th Oct 2020: Ferrero's acquisition hot-streak continued. The Italian confectioner added to its fast-expanding biscuit business with a deal to acquire British manufacturer Fox's Biscuits from poultry processor 2 Sisters Food Group for £246m. Ferrero is purchasing the main Fox's brand and two UK factories. A third factory which makes own-label biscuits for supermarkets is being retained by 2 Sisters. Fox's is the UK's 4th largest biscuit company after Pladis, Nestlé and Mondelez. It joins other recent acquisitions in Ferrero's portfolio including Delacre in Belgium, Keebler in the US and Kelsen in Denmark, all purchased within the past four years.
Adbrands Daily Update 27th Sep 2019: A welcome major account win was confirmed this week for Mindshare. Confectioner Ferrero confirmed the transfer of most if not all of its global media from PHD. It's not clear exactly which markets are included, but the US is definitely one of them, as is Australia. Depending on the scope of the deal, billings are between $400m to $950m, making this not just Mindshare's but WPP's biggest win this year, offsetting the loss of Vodafone earlier this month.
Adbrands Daily Update 12th Jul 2019: Ferrero's shopping spree continued with the acquisition through an affiliated company of Danish company Kelsen, makers of Kjeldsens and Royal Dansk biscuits. The price tag was $300m, or just under twice Kelsen's annual revenues. The business has been part of Campbell Soup Company's international division for several years. Campbell's other subsidiaries outside North America are also up for sale.
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