Snickers parent to buy Kind Bars for $5B

Mars also makes Milky Way and M&M's

Mars announced that it is acquiring Kind North America, the maker of Kind bars, in an effort to expand the partnership that started three years ago.

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Mars, which makes Snickers, Milky Way bars, M&M's and other candy bars, is acquiring the company for approximately $5 billion, according to the New York Times, which first reported the news.

“When we began this partnership, I said it was one built on mutual admiration and a shared vision for growth," Grant F. Reid, CEO of Mars, said in a statement. "After three years, you can see the impact, as together we have grown the healthy snacking category and brought KIND and the KIND Promise to 35 countries and into new categories. We’re delighted to continue to build on this success and welcome KIND North America into the Mars Family of Companies.”

The deal comes just a few weeks after Halloween, traditionally one of the busiest times for Mars and other candy makers.

According to data from market research firm IRI and the National Confectioners Association, Halloween candy sales rose 13% for the month ending Sept. 6, the Associated Press reported.

Halloween candy and decorations are displayed at a store, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, in Freeport, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

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The deal comes three years after Mars took a minority stake in Kind, which was founded by Daniel Lubetzky in 2005 as an alternative bar with simple ingredients.

“I am so proud of how well the Mars and KIND teams have complemented and strengthened each other over the past three years,” Lubetzky added in the release. “We are now well positioned to further advance our efforts and continue building a foremost health and wellness platform. As we said in 2017, Mars is a company that shares KIND’s passion for business as a force for good, and I am confident that together, we will be able to make our small contribution to make this world a little kinder.”

Speaking with the Times, Lubetzky said its retail sales are roughly $1.5 billion, up from $1 billion at the end of 2017 when the partnership began.

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Kind, which operates in 35 countries, said it will continue with its "[p]romise and mission and will further its purpose to build a kinder world one snack and one act at a time."

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The Associated Press contributed to this story.