Italy's Ferrero to Buy U.S. Nestle Division

Italy’s Ferrero is closing in on a deal to purchase Nestle’s U.S. confectionary business for $2.8 billion reported Bloomberg. Traditionally preferring organic growth as opposed to acquisitions, Ferrero had been vying with Hershey and private investor groups including France’s Rhone Capital for the deal. Nestle owns brands including Baby Ruth, Skinny Cow, Butterfinger, and Crunch. The acquisition would name Ferrero, currently in the number three spot worldwide in the candy sector, the third-largest sweets producer in the U.S., behind Hershey and Mars. Ferrero has been a family-owned business since 1946 with 22 production sites, more than 40,000 employees and selling to more than 170 countries. It is most known for its Nutella, Ferrero Rocher and Tic Tac brands. Nestle, the world’s largest food company, plans to focus on categories such as coffee and pet food as the industry copes with a drop in demand for sugary products.