Ferrero International, the Italian confectionery group and owners of Nutella, is acquiring Fannie May Confections Brands, U.S. premium chocolate makers of Fannie May and Harry London products, from gifting retailer 1-800 Flowers. Ferrero also is entering a strategic partnership agreement to include Ferrero and Fannie May products in 1-800 Flowers gift baskets, towers and on e-commerce sites.
The deal, valued at $115 million, is expected to close by the end of May 2017. Fannie May will operate as a standalone entity and brand within the Ferrero Group, with support as needed from Ferrero U.S.A. It will maintain its plant in Ohio, as well as its distribution centers in Ohio and Illinois. Fannie May’s 79 retail stores will remain open, and Ferrero plans to grow the network of stores. The current management team remains in place.
Ferrero will maintain its U.S. headquarters in Parsippany, N.J., and its assembly and packaging facility in Somerset, N.J.
“Fannie May brings great people and a valuable manufacturing, distribution and retail network to Ferrero’s expanding U.S. presence,” said Paul Chibe, president and CEO of Ferrero North America. “We plan to build on the Fannie May organization to support the growth of the Fannie May and Harry London brands. We are confident there are significant opportunities to enhance Fannie May’s growth, leveraging Ferrero’s capabilities to sell new products through a substantially larger base of channels.”