Nestle is selling its US candy brands to Italy’s Ferrero for $2.8bn

Nestle is selling its US confectionary branch to Italy’s Ferrero, the maker of Nutella, for $2.8bn.

The move comes as the food giant looks to prioritize areas that show more growth potential. In a statement, Nestle’s chief executive Mark Schneider said that the divestment would allow the company to “invest and innovate across a range of categories where we see strong future growth and hold leadership positions, such as pet care, bottled water, coffee, frozen meals and infant nutrition.”

Candy brands including Butterfinger, Baby Ruth, Raisinets and Nerds will now fall under Ferrero’s umbrella, which also owns Tic Tac. Last year Ferrero acquired Ferrara Candy, the maker of Lemonheads and RedHots, in an attempt to take a bite out of the US candy market.

According to Nestle, its confectionery business represents about 3% of sales in the US. In 2016, its US confectionery sales reached about $900m. The company's Toll House line of baking products will not be affected by the acquisition.

Get The Drum Newsletter

Build your marketing knowledge by choosing from daily news bulletins or a weekly special.