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 chocolate toy eggs and a variety of bars, cakes and chilled desserts. Kinder is one of Italy's most international brands 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 soon to be 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. In 2013, it was reported that Nestle had made several tentative approaches to acquire Ferrero, all of which were firmly refused by the confectioners' family owners. Instead, the group has begun to slowly but steadily expand its footprint with a few carefully chosen acquisitions of its own, including boxed chocolate specialists Russell Stover and Thorntons and a collection of US sugar candy brands. Its most ambitious deal to-date was the purchase of Nestle USA's confectionery division in 2018 for $2.8bn. That deal makes Ferrero the #3 in US confectionery after Mars and Mondelez. 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 in 2017. The privately owned business divulges little financial information, but reported revenues for the year ending 2017 of €10.5bn.
Capsule checked 28th September 2018
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Historical profile information for Ferrero
Adbrands Weekly Update 18th Jan 2018: As expected, Ferrero secured the deal to acquire Nestle's US confectionery division, comprising a collection of local brands including Butterfinger, Baby Ruth, Raisinets, SweeTarts and Nerds, as well as the license for international brand Nestle Crunch. (The US is the only market in the world where Nestle doesn't own KitKat; the license is held there by Hershey). Price tag was $2.8bn, or a little over three times annual sales. The purchase will catapult Ferrero into third place in US confectionery. The combination of Nestle's brands with Ferrero's existing Kinder and TicTac, and the Ferrara Candy business it acquired last year will give the Italian company around 9% market share, well ahead of Mondelez and Lindt (both around 5%), but still some way behind market leaders Hershey and Mars on 31% and 29% respectively. Separately, Lindt reported global sales of over $4bn for the first time, though declines at recently acquired US chocolate maker Russell Stover were a lag on otherwise strong performance elsewhere.
Adbrands Weekly Update 11th Jan 2018: The final bids for Nestle's US confectionery business were submitted this week. It looks set to be a contest between US giant Hershey, Italian interloper Ferrero (makers of Kinder, Nutella and Tic Tac) and the private equity fund Rhone Capital. Price tag is estimated at around $2.5bn. Most observers believe family-owned Ferrero has the edge, since it is likely to be more willing to pay top dollar to strengthen what is currently only a modest presence in US confectionery.
Adbrands Weekly Update 23rd May 2017: Confectioner Ferrero is dipping its toe into the catering industry with the launch of the first ever Nutella Cafe, not in its home country of Italy but in Chicago, Illinois. The store promises "an authentic Nutella experience", offering warm, grilled baguettes with Nutella, fresh-roasted hazelnut and blueberry granola with yogurt and Nutella, and Italian specialties like "Panzanella" fruit salad. There will also be a number of sandwiches and salads served without the famous hazelnut spread.
Adbrands Weekly Update 6th Apr 2017: Ferrero has named its first ever non-family CEO. Current head of C&E Europe Lapo Civiletti will take on the top job in September, with current chief Giovanni Ferrero moving to executive chairman. The group also reported an 8% increase in revenues for 2016 to €10.3bn. It is the world's 4th largest confectioner after Mars, Mondelez and Nestle, narrowly ahead of 5th-ranked Hershey.
Adbrands Weekly Update 11th Aug 2016: Italian confectioner Ferrero is to acquire Belgian biscuitmaker Delacre for an undisclosed sum. Formerly part of the UK-based United Biscuits, Delacre has been owned since 2014 by Turkish group Yildiz, and is now part of that group's Pladis snacks arm. If the deal is completed, Ferrero will take charge of the Delacre and Delichoc biscuit brands.
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