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Mars completes acquisition of Hotel Chocolat in confectionery merger and acquisition deal

Mars completes acquisition of Hotel Chocolat in confectionery merger and acquisition deal business, confectionery, Hotel chocolat, M&A, Mars incorporated, Mergers and acquisitions, Reformulation, Start-ups and disruptors Food and Beverage Business

Mars Inc., a US-headquartered confectionery major, has announced plans to acquire British chocolate retailer Hotel Chocolat for more than £534m (€610m), marking a significant move in the food and beverage industry trends. According to Andrew Clarke, global president of Mars Snacking, the acquisition discussions have been ongoing for several months. He emphasized that Mars is looking at the long-term potential of the deal, indicating a strategic investment in the future of the confectionery sector.

The acquisition of Hotel Chocolat by Mars is seen as a move that will add new capabilities to Mars’ current portfolio. Clarke highlighted the shared opportunities and possibilities for collaboration between the two companies, emphasizing the long-term vision for the partnership. Angus Thirlwell, co-founder and CEO of Hotel Chocolat, expressed confidence in Mars’ ability to support the brand’s growth and expansion, citing Mars as an “excellent steward” of the business.

With a focus on the UK market, Mars has plans to continue investing in building out Hotel Chocolat’s store footprint. The two companies have also hinted at potential international expansion in the future, indicating a strong commitment to growing the brand’s presence in the global food and beverage industry.

Hotel Chocolat is known for its commitment to quality, particularly its ‘More Cacao Less Sugar’ ethos. The company has championed the idea of reinventing chocolate and advocated for tighter regulations on how the term ‘chocolate’ is used in products. Both Mars and Hotel Chocolat have assured consumers that the premium quality of Hotel Chocolat products will be maintained under the new ownership, citing Mars’ track record of nurturing and protecting premium brands.

As part of the acquisition, Mars expects the management and employees of Hotel Chocolat to remain with the business. Thirlwell will continue as CEO, while the company plans to retain manufacturing and distribution sites.

Looking ahead, the acquisition is viewed as a joint plan between Mars and Hotel Chocolat, with both parties expressing excitement about the future prospects of the partnership. Despite co-founder Peter Harris bowing out, the company is set for a new chapter with Thirlwell expressing confidence in the future.

Throughout this process, Mars has maintained a focus on preserving the authenticity and premium nature of the Hotel Chocolat brand, with a clear commitment to the sustainability and growth of the business. The acquisition is expected to bring innovative food and beverage industry trends and advancements in food and drink sustainability, adding a new dimension to Mars’ existing portfolio.

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