Global confectionery acquisitions pick up steam

Two significant players in the confectionery global marketplace, Lotte Group and Grupo Bimbo, added to their stable of brands with acquisitions during the past week, picking up Dulces Vero and the E.Wedel brand from Kraft, respectively.
First, on June 22, Grupo Bimbo announced it had acquired Dulces Vero, a manufacturer of sugar confections such as lollipops, gummies, caramels and marshmallows. Based in Guadalajara, Mexico, Dulces Vero posted nearly $86 million in sales last year and has a workforce of 1,500. According to Grupo Bimbo,
“The acquisition of these assets strengthens Grupo Bimpo’s position in the Mexican confectionery market through its Barcel subsidiary and furthers the company’s strategy of branching across all socio-demographic segments. “Along with sales and cost synergies, Vero’s strength in the wholesales channel, combined with Barcel’s extensive retail distribution network, will provide a strong platform for continued growth,” the company continues.
Grupo Bimbo also emphasized that Vero’s products will complement the Barcel line of confections in the U.S. Hispanic market, thus providing an excellent opportunity for expansion there as well. The Mexico City-based baking and snack multinational exceeded $8.6 billion in sales last year, and has 98 manufacturing plants and 600 distribution centers strategically located in 17 countries throughout the Americas and Asia.
Earlier this week, on Monday, Kraft Foods announced that it has signed an agreement to sell Cadbury’s E. Wedel branded chocolate and sugar confectionery operations in Poland to the Lotte Group, a Japanese conglomerate doing $40 billion in sales.
The sale, which was mandated by the European Commission following Kraft Foods’ acquisition of Cadbury plc, includes the E. Wedel business, related brands and a manufacturing facility in Warsaw. About 1,000 Cadbury Wedel employees will become part of the Lotte Group.
Kraft will retain other remaining Cadbury businesses in Poland, including the Halls brand, non-E. Wedel brand chocolate and sugar confections as well as two manufacturing plants in Skarbimierz. It also will keep a third Cadbury confectionery plant in Bielany Wroclawskie, Poland, subject to European Commission approval.
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