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Kellogg to Sell Cookie and Snack Businesses for $1.3B, Including Seven Food Manufacturing Facilities

Kellogg will sell brands including Keebler, Mother’s, Famous Amos, Murray’s and Murray’s Sugar Free. (Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

BATTLE CREEK, MICH. — Kellogg Co. (NYSE: K) has agreed to sell select businesses in its cookie, snack and pastry lines to Italian candy giant Ferrero Group for $1.3 billion.

The sale also includes six Kellogg-owned food manufacturing facilities across the United States, as well as a Kellogg-leased facility in Baltimore. The six food plants include two assets in Chicago; two in Florence and Louisville, Ky.; one in Allyn, Wash.; and another in Augusta, Ga.

The sale includes six Kellogg-owned food production facilities in Washington, Illinois, Georgia and Kentucky. The deal also includes a Kellogg-leased facility in Baltimore (not listed on the above map).

Ferrero and its affiliated companies will acquire Kellogg brands such as Keebler, Mother’s, Famous Amos, Murray’s and Murray’s Sugar Free, as well as cookies manufactured for Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. by Little Brownie Bakers. The sale also includes Kellogg’s fruit and fruit-flavored snacks, pie crusts and ice cream cones businesses.

In 2018, these combined businesses recorded net sales of nearly $900 million and operating profit of approximately $75 million, according to Kellogg.

The Battle Creek-based food manufacturer will retain the rest of its North American snacking businesses, including its crackers, salty snacks, healthy snacks and toaster pastries brands such as Pop-Tarts, Eggo, Cheez-It and Pringles.

Kellogg and Ferrero expect the transaction to close in July.

Evercore was lead advisor to Kellogg on the transaction, with Goldman Sachs acting as co-advisor. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz acted as Kellogg’s legal counsel.

JP Morgan Securities and Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP served as advisors to Ferrero.

Kellogg’s net sales in 2018 were approximately $13.5 billion, comprised principally of snacks and convenience foods like cereal and frozen foods. The company’s stock price closed on Monday, April at $56.22 per share, down from $63.12 a year ago.

Founded as a family business in Alba, Italy in 1946, Ferrero Group is the third-largest company in the global chocolate confectionary market, with global sales of over $12 billion, distribution across over 170 countries, and a workforce of more than 30,000 people across 55 countries. The company’s owned brands include Tic Tac, Ferrero Rocher, Nutella, Kinder Joy and Fannie May chocolates.

— John Nelson

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