The Jelly Bean Factory

Cloetta found an Irish confectionery connection today, one it believes will “significantly strengthen” its position in the UK.

The Swedish confectionery company acquired Irish gourmet jelly bean producer Aran Candy Ltd and its brand, The Jelly Bean Factory.

“Jelly beans are known as a product to consumers world-wide, and the acquisition of The Jelly Bean Factory will support Cloetta’s profitable growth by adding an offering to the Munchy Moments within the sugar confectionary category” says Bengt Baron, Cloetta’s ceo. “The Jelly Bean Factory has shown strong growth over the last years and the acquisition will significantly strengthen Cloetta’s position in the UK market. In addition, we intend to roll out the products in our current core markets over time,”

Last year Jelly Bean Factory sales topped $15 million, with the UK as the core market. The United States, Canada, the Middle East, Ireland and Germany also represent key markets for the brand.

The company produces 36 different natural flavors of jelly beans in its Dublin production facility, which was built in 2005 and employs 70 people. Father-and-son team Peter and Richard Cullen founded Aran Candy Ltd. in 1998. Richard Cullen will continue as managing director for the company.

“We are very pleased to become part of the Cloetta Group,” says Richard Cullen. “With Cloetta’s focus on brands and strong routes-to-market in their core markets, I am convinced that we will be able to further strengthen and accelerate the growth of The Jelly Bean Factory brand,”

The $21.1 million cash deal involves Cloetta initially acquiring 75 percent of Aran Candy Ltd. shares. The remaining 25 percent will be acquired in 2016 based on 2015 result targets. Cloetta will finance the acquisition using its existing credit facilities.