Food and Beverage Business

Hotel Chocolat secures partnership with retailer Mars

Hotel Chocolat secures partnership with retailer Mars Mars Food and Beverage Business

Mars has successfully made a move to acquire Hotel Chocolat, a renowned UK retailer that specializes in high-end chocolate products. The offer, valued at £534m ($662.4m), was accepted by the publicly-listed chain. The cash offer represents a “premium of 169.8%” to Hotel Chocolat’s share price, indicating a lucrative deal with promising prospects.

The Hotel Chocolat board, which holds over 54% of the business, has agreed to accept the bid. Shareholders representing approximately 69.6% of the company have shown their support for the deal. In the wake of this acquisition, Angus Thirwell, CEO and co-founder of Hotel Chocolat, stated, “In Mars we have found a true meeting of minds – in strong cultural values, bold strategy, and true long-termism.”

Last week, Hotel Chocolat reported a 10% drop in annual revenues to £204.5m, with its UK business experiencing an 8% decline in revenue. The company has strategically set its sights on North America and Japan for international growth. With an aim to grow its international presence and overcome supply chain challenges, partnering with Mars appears to be a bold approach to achieving the company’s objectives.

In an interesting development, Mars has presented an alternative offer to eligible Hotel Chocolat shareholders, where they have the option of receiving unlisted Class B shares in Bidco. However, it’s worth noting that “the Class B ‘rollover’ shares are unlisted; they are subject to a five-year lock-up that limits how they can be transferred; and they are of ‘uncertain value’.”

Andrew Clarke, President of Mars’ snacking business, expressed confidence in the acquisition, emphasizing, “We are confident that Mars will be an excellent long-term home for Hotel Chocolat, providing a like-minded, entrepreneurial, and purpose-led environment in which to maximize the potential of the Hotel Chocolat brand.” With this acquisition, Mars, as one of the world’s largest chocolate makers, and Hotel Chocolat are expected to create a highly complementary partnership.

The acquisition has sparked interest in the food and beverage industry, particularly in understanding the trends within the food and drink business and food and drink consumer trends. This acquisition could potentially have a notable impact on these trends, making it an aspect to watch closely in the industry.

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