Sweet deal for Scandinavian candy connoisseur Cloetta

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Scandinavian confectioner Cloetta recently strengthened its position in the Netherlands by acquiring Lonka, a Dutch maker of fudge, nougat and chocolate. NIBC played a key role as Cloetta’s financial advisor during the EUR 32 million transaction, which closed on 17 July.

The acquisition will make Cloetta – which already owns Dutch candy brands Venco, Sportlife and Redband – the number one sweets maker in the Netherlands, while also significantly strengthening its position in other European markets.

Founded in 1862, Cloetta’s popular chocolates, pastilles and chewing gum brands are sold in more than 50 countries worldwide and it is also a leading player in the candy markets in the Nordics and Italy. Last year, the Stockholm-listed group generated EUR 575 million in sales.

Lonka (officially Locawo B.V.) was established in the Netherlands in 1920 and has two factories in Roosendaal and Dieren. Its unique position in ‘adult candy’, specifically fudge and soft nougat, will diversify Cloetta’s product range and also give it an edge in the Dutch bulk chocolate market. Its sales amounted to EUR 34 million in 2014.
The fit between Cloetta and family-owned Lonka became apparent during several strategic discussions and, given NIBC’s long-term focus on the confectionery industry, where we are a trusted partner to a number of key local and international players, we were well-positioned to act for Cloetta.

Cloetta’s 100 percent takeover of Lonka shares is the latest in a string of recent acquisitions, including Dutch confectioner Leaf in 2012 from CVC and Nordic Capital. With group production units now present in six countries, the future looks decidedly sweet for Cloetta.

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