LUXEMBOURG—Italy’s Ferrero International S.A. is looking to take a bigger bite out of the U.S. chocolate market.
The company has agreed to buy century-old Midwest chocolatier Fannie May for $115 million.
Fannie May has manufacturing and distribution operations in Ohio and Illinois, as well as a network of 80 retail stores. It’s currently owned by online retail and gift basket maker 1-800 Flowers.com Inc.
Giovanni Ferrero, the Italian firm’s CEO, said the deal in a strong strategic fit for Ferrero.
“The U.S. is an important growth market for Ferrero and we are excited about the opportunity to support and grow a great American brand as we continue to expand our presence in the U.S.,” he said in a statement.
Along with the Fannie May acquisition, Ferrero said it has struck a partnership deal with 1-800-Flowers that will see some of its chocolates included in the U.S. company’s gift baskets and e-commerce sites.
The deal is expected to close by the end of May.