- Swiss chocolate maker Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Spruengli agreed to buy Russell Stover candy, turning Lindt into the third-largest chocolate maker in the U.S. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
- Lindt, which already owns U.S.-based Ghirardelli Chocolate, said it viewed the deal as an opportunity to expand its American operations.
- Analysts were surprised by Lindt's bid. Reports two months ago had suggested that Hershey and Yildiz Holding, the owner of Godiva, were close to a deal for Russell Stover.
About the only thing more surprising than the name of the buyer in this deal is the reported price. Lindt hasn't said what it will pay, but news reports over the weekend said the two companies were close to a $1.4 billion deal.
If that price is correct, it means Lindt paid a whopping 23.3 times EBITDA, according to calculations from Reuters. Just as Russell Stover's best-known customer says, "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get."