The Italian confectionery leading group Ferrero is to buy Australia’s most famous biscuits, the historic Arnott’s Biscuits, currently owned by the US multinational Campbell Soup. Ferrero, which is reputable all over the world as Nutella maker, has signed a confidentiality agreement in recent weeks and is in the data room to take over Campbell International, the financial vehicle controlling Arnott’s and that could be valued at over 1.44 billion U.S. dollars. The Australian group has an annual turnover of over one billion Australian dollars.
ARNOTT’S HISTORY AND POTENTIAL BUYERS
The first round of offers is expected before Christmas. Other potential buyers include multinationals Kraft Heinz and Mondelez group. Arnott’s Biscuits is Australia’s largest biscuit producer with a century-old history. Founded back in 1847 by a Scottish immigrant, William Arnott, in the suburb of Morpeth in the New South Wales region, the family bakery company becomes one of Australia’s largest confectionery groups. A century and a half later the company, one of the symbols of Australian confectionery, became American. In 1980 the giant listed on Wall Street Campbell Soup first entered the capital, and then gradually passed to control in the 90s.
THE GROWTH STRATEGY OF FERRERO
In the last 3 years Ferrero has been growing at an international level on all continents. In 2015 there was a turning point for the Italian giant, as founder Michele Ferrero had always preferred internal growth over acquisitions. The acquisition of the British company Thorntons for 156 million pounds testified to the change in strategy of the Italian confectionery giant. Now the strategy seems to be directed towards growth through acquisitions on global markets.
FROM USA TO AUSTRALIA
After the UK and Europe, this year the spotlight turned overseas. The biggest acquisition in Ferrero’s history took place in January, when the group took over Nestlé’s US confectionery business for $2.8 billion. With this operation, the Italian company became the third largest confectionery company in the US market, where it is best known for its Tic Tacs, Ferrero Rocher and Nutella. In the USA, Ferrero has acquired about twenty brands which can count on a turnover of over 900 million dollars: iconic chocolate brands such as Butterfinger, BabyRuth, 100Grand, Raisinets and Wonka, but also weekend candies, LaffyTaffy and Nerds. Now the headlights are focused on Australia.