Ferrero Group, the confections giant best known for Nutella and Tic Tac, will acquire a number of iconic American brands from Kellogg for $1.3 billion, the company announced on Monday. It marks the Luxembourg-based firm’s latest foray into the U.S. market.
The deal encompasses Kellogg’s cookie, fruit and fruit-flavored snack, ice cream cone and pie crust businesses, which generated a combined $900 million in 2018 revenue. That includes Keebler pie crust, Famous Amos cookies and Little Brownie Bakers, one of two suppliers of Girl Scout cookies.
Ferrero is chaired by Giovanni Ferrero, the 54-year-old heir to the family fortune. An Italian citizen, he lives in Belgium, a short drive from Ferrero’s Luxembourg headquarters. He was the 39th richest person in the world on Forbes' 2019 World’s Billionaires list, with a net worth of $22.4 billion.
Giovanni Ferrero has been on a buying spree in recent years. In 2015 he made Ferrero Group’s first branded acquisition, an $170 million deal for the British chocolatier Thorntons. Then he paid $115 million for U.S. candy maker Ferrara in May 2017, followed by the purchase of Ferrara, the maker of Red Hots and Trolli gummies, for about $1.3 billion. His biggest deal came in March 2018, when he scooped up Nestle’s American candy business for $2.8 billion.
"I feel like we are duty-bound to grow," Giovanni told Forbes in a 2018 profile. His aim is to double corporate revenue every ten years. As such, consumers can expect more acquisitions down the road.