Italian confectionery giant Ferrero has agreed a deal to buy UK cereal bar and muesli maker Eat Natural.
The companies confirmed on Thursday that a deal has been agreed which will see Ferrero take over Eat Natural’s production facilities in Halstead, Essex.
The new owner said it plans to retain the company’s management and employees as part of the move.
Ferrero said the deal, which was for an undisclosed sum, is expected to complete in the coming months.
It will expand Ferrero’s healthier snacks business and is part of an acquisition programme which has seen it expand in the UK in recent months.
The group, which owns brands such as chocolatier Thorntons, snapped up Fox’s Biscuits from 2 Sisters Food Group in October for £246 million.
“Eat Natural are an excellent strategic fit for the Ferrero Group as we continue to expand our overall footprint and product offerings into the healthier snacking market segment,” said Giovanni Ferrero, executive chairman of the Ferrero Group.
“Eat Natural are a family-orientated company who share a number of the same values as us, and like us care deeply for our consumers, the environment and the communities in which we operate.
“I very much look forward to welcoming them to the Ferrero Group.”
“We are very happy to be joining the Ferrero Group,” said Eat Natural co-founder, Praveen Vijh.
“Ferrero is a fabulous company and we are proud that they would like us to be part of their family.
“We have many shared ethics and both have a vision to make healthier snacking available for everyone.
“Like us, they pride themselves on a commitment to ingredients, taste and storytelling. We can’t wait to get started.”