Photo: Charles Krupa / AP
Photo: Charles Krupa / AP
After saving Hostess, the Greenwich firm acquires Necco candy
Less than a week after reports of the sale of New England Confectionery Co. to an Ohio candy giant, the Metropoulos family announced the formation Sweetheart Candy in Greenwich to take over the negated Necco.
Necco, the maker of Necco cookies and heart-shaped Sweetheart sweets, had been auctioned off in a federal bankruptcy court in Mbadachusetts. Spangler Candy had emerged last week as the successful bidder, but did not reach an agreement, with the family of billionaire Dean Metropoulos declaring Friday that his $ 17.3 million bid had taken him to the Necco brand and operations.
Dean Metropoulos led the acquisition and the initial public offering of Hostess Brands, bringing back to bankruptcy the creators of Twinkies and Ding Dongs. He had previously revitalized brands such as Pabst Blue Ribbon, Bumble Bee, Ghirardelli, Chef Boyardee, Vlasic and Perrier Jouet, among 80 entities in which he and his family have invested.
Spangler had offered $ 18.8 million for Necco, with Bryan, an Ohio-based company that has several well-known brands, including Dum Dums and Saf-T-Pops lollipops and Hard Candy Smarties. A Spangler spokesman did not immediately explain why he did not proceed with his previous higher bid.
In an e-mail response to a query from Hearst Connecticut Media, Necco CEO Mike McGee said the Metropoulos family could acquire other candy brands to add to Necco as they build a backup of the company, having presented its offer through the firm Round Hill Investments that lists its main office in Greenwich.
"It is not clear why Spangler decided not to close, but I know we are very excited to partner with the Metropoulos team, given their strong track record and their commitment to support customers," said McGee. "I know that Dean, Evan and Daren Metropoulos are extremely excited about the opportunity to revive (Necco) and its incredible brands that had not received the investment they deserved in recent years."
Much work remains ahead of Necco under the ownership of Metropoulos – The Food and Drug Administration recently reprimanded the company for the sanitary conditions at its huge plant in Revere.
Necco was formed in 1901 by rolling several candy makers from the Boston area, with their brands today including Candy Buttons; Chocolates Clark Bar, Sky Bar and Haviland Thin Mints; Mary Jane and Squirrel Nut Zippers chew; and Slap Stix caramel pops.
Other companies that had submitted or explored offers for portions or all of Necco included Stichler Products of Reading, Pennsylvania, manufacturer of candy Mega Buttons and Royal Icing among other lines; Frankford Candy, based in Philadelphia, which sells lines of Valentine's chocolates and Easter bunny; and lollipop maker Melville Candy of Randolph, Mbad.
"I do not think there was anyone in the candy business who has not seen those badets in the last five years," said Henk Hartong III, CEO of Greenwich. Brynwood Partners, private equity investor, whose brands include Pearson & # 39; s Candy, maker of Bit-O-Honey and Pearsons Mint Patties, among other candies. "It was no secret that Necco has been looking for a buyer for a long time."
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