Onex Corp close to buying Ferrara Candy Co for nearly $1.3 bn

Canadian private equity firm Onex Corp is close to finalising a deal to buy one of the largest US non-chocolate confectionary maker Ferrara Candy Co, for nearly $1.3 billion, including debt, Reuters reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Onex has prevailed in an auction for Ferrara and is now negotiating final terms with its owner, private equity firm L Catterton, the report said.

Bloomberg had in last year reported that Catterton has hired Rothschild & Co. and Morgan Stanley to explore options for Ferrara, including an IPO or sale.

Founded in 1908 by Italian immigrant baker Salvatore Ferrara, who started selling candy-coated almonds from his bakery in Chicago's Little Italy neighborhood, L Catterton combined Ferrara Pan Candy Co with Farley's & Sathers Candy Co in 2012 and renamed it Ferrara Candy.

Based in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois, Ferrara Candy is a leading manufacturer of non-chocolate confectionery company producing gummies, fruit chews, fruit snacks, hard candy, and liquid-filled candies across a deep portfolio of brands, including Lemonheads, Red Hots and Black Forest, Trolli, Brachs and Now & Later.

The company has six domestic and international manufacturing facilities and annual sales of around $1 billion.