Mars completes major £534 million move acquiring Hotel Chocolat

Global confectionery group Mars has confirmed completing the acquisition of British premium chocolate brand, Hotel Chocolat, in a deal worth a reported £534 million, writes Neill Barston.

The move has made international headlines at the scale of the deal, which expands the company’s portfolio into the luxury confectionery market, with the sweets and snacks giant stating that it would seek to preserve the sustainable sourcing founding principles of the UK company.

According to Mars, the deal has passed regulatory approvals, adding that it is well-positioned to support Hotel Chocolat’s next growth phase and provide the brand with an enhanced platform for growth, in the U.K. and potentially in new geographies.

Andrew Clarke, Global President of Mars Snacking, believed the acquisition would represent a strong development for both parties. He said: “We are delighted to welcome Hotel Chocolat into the Mars stable of brands. Hotel Chocolat is a brand we have admired for many years, with its leading premium product offering, world-class quality and deep omnichannel retail expertise. We are incredibly excited to partner with Angus and the rest of the Hotel Chocolat team to achieve further growth and success in the years ahead, building on our shared commitment to quality, sustainability and purpose.”

Angus Thirlwell, CEO and co-founder of Hotel Chocolat, also believed that the deal would ensure the future of the business, which recently moved to wind-up its recently established US retail stores, and pull-back on Japanese investment plans, which had underline a need for major investment support. Despite such setbacks, the brand has continued to enjoy a strong reputation in its domestic market, as well as its online operations, with the company’s CEO stating that he intended to stay on with the business.

He said:  “Today marks a new and exciting chapter in Hotel Chocolat’s history which will see us join the Mars family, bringing our premium brand to the global stage. We have found a true meeting of minds in Mars – built on strong cultural values similar to our own, bold strategy and long term stewardship – and I look forward to seeing the business climb to new heights.”

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