‘Ferrero is not and will not be up for sale,’ says CEO

By Oliver Nieburg contact

- Last updated on GMT

Ferrero boss rejects sale rumors. Photo credit: Zoha Nve
Ferrero boss rejects sale rumors. Photo credit: Zoha Nve

Related tags: Ferrero spa

Ferrero’s CEO has dismissed speculation the firm will be sold following the death of owner Michele Ferrero.

Michele Ferrero died aged 89​ on Saturday sparking Societe Generale analyst Warren Ackerman to write that the company could be open to offers.

The late owner’s son Giovanni Ferrero, CEO of the Group, said the company would not be sold.

The Ferrero Group said in a statement to newswires: "Rumors have been doing the rounds again recently saying that Ferrero could be sold to other groups. CEO Giovanni Ferrero strongly denies such rumours. Ferrero is not, and will not be, up for sale."

Nestlé speculation

Nestlé reportedly made an offer for Ferrero in October 2013. However, at the time, the Italian confectioner denied any approach had been made and said the firm was “not for sale to anyone”.

Analysts have previously said that Nestlé needs to improve its premium chocolate offering. Jon Cox, head of European consumer equities at Kepler Cheuvreux, has said on multiple occasions that Lindt would be the right fit. Pinar Hosafci, food analyst at Euromonitor, said last year that Lindt’s acquisition of Russell Stover effectively ruled it out as an option for Nestlé, but said the Swiss giant may turn to Lebanese chocolate brand Patchi or North American brand Vosges Haut Chocolat.

Nutella and Kinder owner Ferrero is the world’s fourth largest confectioner with a 5% market share, behind Mondelēz, Mars and Nestlé, according to Euromonitor International. The company has doubled chocolate sales in Russia and China in the past five years to over $600m.

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