Carle Place, NY — Ferrero International S.A. has entered into definitive agreement to purchase all the outstanding equity of Fannie May Confections Brands, Inc., including subsidiaries Fannie May Confections, Inc. and Harry London Candies, Inc., from 1-800-Flowers.com, Inc., the company reports.
As part of the deal, the Italian chocolate firm will enter into a strategic commercial partnership to include select Ferrero and Fannie May products in 1-800-Flowers.com gift baskets, towers and ecommerce sites.
“Fannie May represents a strong strategic and cultural fit for Ferrero and we are happy that Fannie May’s talented people, premium brand and quality products will become part of the Ferrero Group,” says Giovanni Ferrero, CEO. “The U.S. is an important growth market for Ferrero, and we are excited about the opportunity to support and grow a great American brand as we continue to expand our presence in the U.S.”
The transaction is expected to close in May, and following completion Fannie May will operate as a standalone entity and brand within Ferrero’s network with support from Ferrero U.S.A., Inc. when needed.
The acquiring firm reports it plans to continue operating Fannie May’s North Canton, OH, production plant as well as distribution centers located in Maple Heights, OH, and Chicago. Fannie May’s 79 retail outlets are also included in the transaction.
Ferrero will maintain its U.S. headquarters, assembly and packaging facilities in New Jersey. Additionally, the purchasing company intends to work with Fannie May’s existing management team on a go-forward basis.
Chris McCann, 1-800-Flowers.com CEO, says: “This transaction will further strengthen our balance sheet while concurrently reducing the working capital requirements in our business model. Importantly, the strategic commercial agreement with Ferrero will enable us to continue offering iconic Fannie May and Harry London chocolate brands across our ecommerce and wholesale channels and expand our product offerings to include some of Ferrero’s world-renowned chocolate confectionery brands.”
The deal is valued at $115 million in cash, adjusted for seasonal working capital, according to 1-800-Flowers.com.