Contains Cookies – Ferrero to take over Fox’s Biscuits
With more people working from home, increasing snacking on cookies and biscuits, Nutella-maker Ferrero is to buy Fox’s Biscuits. It’s estimated that Ferrero will pay £250 million for the UK’s popular biscuit brand.
The proposed acquisition is a sign of Ferrero’s intention to strengthen its position in the “sweets consumed outside meals” category and limit its reliance on chocolate products.
Fox’s, a 167-year old company that sells a wide range of snacks including favourites such as Crunch Creams and chocolate-dipped Viennese, adds to Ferrero’s acquisitions of European biscuit makers Kelsen Group and Delacre.
The Italian group has expanded rapidly over the past five years under the leadership of Giovanni Ferrero, son of Michele, creator of famous hazelnut spread Nutella.
May contain nuts
Ferrero last year bought Keebler biscuits from U.S. food group Kellogg Co K.N and launched a Nutella-filled biscuit in an attempt to grab market share from Italian rival Barilla.
It now plans to double production capacity at its Nutella Biscuits plant in southern Italy with an investment of about 80 million euros (73 million pounds).
Under the deal announced on Wednesday, Ferrero’s Belgian holding CTH will acquire Fox’s, other biscuit brands and two production plants from Northern Food Grocery Group (NFGG), part of Britain’s Boparan Holdings. Boparan is expected to focus on its original poultry business.
The transaction, Ferrero’s second acquisition in Britain after buying chocolate maker Thorntons in 2015, is expected to be finalised in the next few months.
Ferrero’s turnover has risen above 11 billion euros through its acquisition spree and expansion in other categories outside chocolate.