FRANCE – Carambar & Co, a France-based confectionery, has entered exclusive merger talks with German group Katjes International over a possible merger with its Lutti confectionery brand.
According to the company, after trying in vain to buy in Mondelez in 2016 the famous Carambar, La Pie Qui Chante and other Krema, Lutti falls into the purse of his former target.
More precisely CPK, Eurazeo’s subsidiary, which for eighteen months has been heading the former confectionery division of Mondelez, renamed Carambar & Co. Mercredi, the two groups have announced that they have entered into exclusive negotiations for a merger.
Owned by the German confectioner Katjes since 2011, Lutti realizes US$133.43 million in turnover, against approximately US$232.06 million for Carambar & Co.
Specifically, Katjes would sell its subsidiary (Lutti, Magnificat …) in exchange for a minority stake in the capital of CPK, until now wholly owned by Eurazeo. Discussions should be closed by the end of the year.
This is the merger of the second and third French players in confectionery, with respectively 17% of the market (Carambar) and 12% (Lutti).
The two groups, distanced despite their efforts by the German juggernaut Haribo (40% of the tricolor market), want to join forces to weigh heavier.
After years of mistakes, Lutti made a drastic repositioning in 2013 by abandoning the private labels on gummies.
After cleaning up its balance sheet, it returned to profit in 2015 but still loses ground.
On the side of Carambar & Co, whose brands (Carambar, Vichy, Poulain, Michoko …) suffered under-investment under the Mondelez era, the time is to reconquer.
In 2016, Eurazeo announced a US$40.61 million investment plan for the five French sites of its subsidiary (Blois, Marcq-en-Barœul, Saint-Genest, Strasbourg and Vichy). Efforts that are beginning to bear fruit, on iconic brands for the French.