Zürich — Lindt & Sprüngli AG has reached an agreement to acquire Russell Stover Candies, Inc. in a move that will make the Swiss firm the number three chocolate manufacturer in the U.S., according to the company.
The transaction enhances Lindt’s position in the U.S. market, as Russell Stover and Whitman’s brands join Lindt and Ghirardelli in the company’s portfolio.
The acquiring firm reports Russell Stover achieved sales of around $500 million this past year, resulting in an anticipated total U.S. sales of $1.5 billion for the combined firms for 2015. Lindt reports this will make it the fast-growing chocolate maker in the market.
The company reports it is committed to continuity and local manufacturing, and as a result, Russell Stover’s headquarters will remain in Kansas City and improvements will continue on the four existing production sites, located in Kansas, Texas and Colorado, included in the deal.
Ernst Tanner, chairman of Lindt’s board of directors and group CEO, says: “The biggest and most important strategic acquisition to date in Lindt & Sprüngli’s history is a unique opportunity for us to expand our North American chocolate business and will greatly enhance the group’s status in the world’s biggest overall chocolate marketplace.”