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.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 16, 2018 12:43 ET (17:43 GMT)