Swiss chocolate maker Lindt & Sprungli has agreed to buy U.S. rival Russell Stover Candies Inc.
“This biggest and most important strategic acquisition to date in Lindt & Sprungli’s history is a unique opportunity for us to expand our North American chocolate business and will greatly enhance the group’s status in the world’s biggest overall chocolate marketplace,” Lindt chairman and CEO Ernst Tanner said in a news release.
The deal brings together the Lindt, Ghirardelli, Russell Stover and Whitman’s brands into one company, which Lindt says will be the No. 3 chocolate company in the United States.
Financial terms weren’t disclosed, but The Financial Times reported the deal was worth about $1.4 billion.
Kansas City-based Russell Stover, which employs about 2,700 people, operates four chocolate factories in the United States and a small chain of retail outlets. The company has annual sales of about $500 million.