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Ferrara Expands Sugar Confections Portfolio With Jelly Belly Candy Co. Acquisition

Nearly 800 global Jelly Belly employees and its facilities will join the Ferrara organization.
Danielle Romano
Ferrara & Jelly Belly logos

CHICAGO — Ferrara Candy Co. will add to its sugar confections portfolio with the acquisition of Jelly Belly Candy Co.

The proposed acquisition would combine Jelly Belly Candy Co.'s more than 100 flavors of Jelly Belly jelly beans and gourmet specialty confections with Ferrara's broad portfolio of sugar candies.

"As we considered the future of Jelly Belly Candy Co., we have been steadfast in our commitment to create a win-win situation for our employees, consumers, and products," said Herman Rowland, Sr., chairman of the board of directors of Jelly Belly. "When I met with the Ferrara team, I recognized a like-minded group that shares our knowledge and passion for the candy business and has the talent and resources to grow our products and the careers of our people around the world. I am confident of the continued success of Jelly Belly as part of the Ferrara portfolio."

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Jelly Belly Candy Co.'s roots date back to its founding in Illinois in 1869. It has continued to be family-owned and operated by the fourth, fifth and sixth generations of the Rowland family. Its signature brand of Jelly Belly jelly beans was introduced in 1976. Its portfolio includes more than 100 flavors of its well-known jelly beans and a wide variety of other candies.

The company is also well-known for its specialty retail confections, including jelly bean lines such as BeanBoozled jelly beans and Sport Beans Energizing jelly beans. Today, Jelly Belly distributes its products in more than 60 countries across five continents and has a strong track record of sustained and profitable growth, the company stated.

"Since our inception almost a century and a half ago, Jelly Belly Candy Co. has been focused on providing exciting new flavors and continuous innovation, and we are extremely proud of the deep affinity we've built with our fans around the world," said Lisa Brasher, president and CEO of Jelly Belly. "Ferrara's interest reflects the substantial value of our storied brand, built on our team's many successes, and the opportunity to drive continued growth. We look forward to being a part of this impressive company."

Headquartered in Chicago for more than 115 years and privately owned, Ferrara is a leading U.S. sugar confections company and the manufacturer of 20 brands such as Black Forest, NERDS, SweeTARTS and Trolli. Ferrara is a Ferrero-related company.

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"We are excited to bring Jelly Belly's imaginative products and talented team into the Ferrara community," said Marco Capurso, CEO of Ferrara. "Our dedication to creating high-quality, innovative sugar confections for the world and our deep relationships with retailers aligns perfectly with the Jelly Belly track record and passion for quality, reliability, and customer service. We look forward to working together to build on the success of all our brands."

Once the acquisition closes, nearly 800 global Jelly Belly employees and its facilities in California, Illinois and Thailand will join the Ferrara organization. Jeff Brown, who is currently the executive vice president of Global Operations and Distribution of Jelly Belly, will become its CEO.

Ferrara will acquire Jelly Belly through CTH Invest, the lead holding company of Ferrara. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2023 and is subject to certain closing conditions.

Raymond James acted as exclusive financial advisor and Foley & Lardner LLP served as legal counsel to Jelly Belly. Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP served as legal counsel to Ferrara Candy Co.

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