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Ferrero to buy UK chocolate maker Thorntons for USD178m

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The Italian firm behind Ferrero Rocher chocolates and Nutella spread has agreed to buy British chocolate retailer Thorntons for GBP112 million (USD176.8m), striking a rare deal to expand in Europe’s biggest confectionery market.

The deal is the first by family-owned Ferrero International since the death earlier this year of patriarch Michele Ferrero, who was Italy’s wealthiest man and largely shied away from acquisitions as he built up a business that also spans Kinder Surprise eggs and Tic Tac mints.

Ferrero said on Monday it would pay 145 pence a share in cash for the 104-year-old Thorntons, a 43 percent premium to the British firm’s closing stock price on Friday. Thorntons’ management said it backed the deal.

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