Ferrero to Pay CHF2.8 Billion for Nestle's U.S. Business

Italian confectionery maker Ferrero International SA will pay 2.8 billion Swiss Francs ($2.9 billion) in cash to buy Nestle SA's (NESN.EB) U.S. chocolate business.

Ferrero beat out Hershey Co. in Switzerland-based Nestle's months-long sales process that also drew interest from several private equity firms.

The Nestle business had about $900 million in sales in 2016, and its acquisition will make family-owned Ferrero the third-biggest chocolate seller in the U.S. It is Ferrero's third sweets acquisition in the country in less than a year as the Italian firm bets billions of dollars on an industry that many companies are turning away from in the wake of a slowdown.

Ferrero had about $12 billion in revenue in 2016.

Write to Eric Sylvers at, Saabira Chaudhuri at and Annie Gasparro at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 16, 2018 12:43 ET (17:43 GMT)