Lindt buys US chocolate rival Russell Stover in expansion push
The Lindt & Sprüngli Group, makers of the popular chocolate gold bunnies and Lindor balls, has bought rival US chocolate company Russell Stover as it looks to grow its place in the market.
Billed as the “biggest and most important” strategic acquisition in the company's history, the move sees Lindt become the third biggest chocolate manufacturer in North America, as it adds both the Russell Stover and Whitman’s brands to its portfolio.
Lindt also produces chocolates under its Ghirardelli arm.
Ernst Tanner, chairman of the Lindt & Sprüngli board of directors and group CEO, commented: “This biggest and most important strategic acquisition to date in Lindt & Sprüngli'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.”
Russell Stover, which has reported annual sales of around $500m, produces a range of pralines and seasonal chocolates including a sugar-free line of products.
Both companies said the acquisition was “a perfect strategic fit” for future growth with Russell Stover/Whitman's “perfectly complementing” Lindt & Sprüngli's US chocolate portfolio.
The purchase price and other contractual details were not disclosed.