CNBC cites people close to the deal in suggesting that a formal announcement could be made later today as Kellogg’s makes good on a pledge made last year to refocus its business.
The Nutella owner saw off competition from Hostess Brands to wrest control of the assets, part of a wider strategy by the Italian confectionery producer to acquire neglected brands in order to fast track its own expansion in new markets.
Kellogg’s acquired Keebler back in 2001 for $4.4bn, attracted by its ‘direct-store-delivery’ model in which employees placed cookies in the store directly rather than ship from warehouses. This gave the Kellogg’s greater control of in-store displays but latterly proved uneconomic as sales fell.
Kellogg's has been facing headwinds in the UK where politicians have grown increasingly vocal in calling for a ban on cartoon mascots for high sugar cereals.