LUXEMBOURG — The Ferrero Group is acquiring Wells Enterprises, Le Mars, Iowa, for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition gives Ferrero a position in the North American ice cream and frozen novelties market through such Wells brands as Blue Bunny, Blue Ribbon Classics, Bomb Pop and Halo Top.
The transaction is expected to close in early 2023.
Wells Enterprises will operate as a stand-alone business within the Ferrero Group once the transaction closes and continue operating its production facilities in Le Mars; Henderson, Nev.; and Dunkirk, NY.
Mike Wells, current chief executive officer, will shift into an advisory role and Liam Killeen, current president of Wells, will become CEO. The rest of Wells’ existing leadership team will remain in place, according to the Ferrero Group.
“This represents a win-win partnership, bringing together ice cream experts and confectionery champions,” said Giovanni Ferrero, executive chairman of the Ferrero Group. “Together, we have the power of one and are well placed to grow and compete in the ice cream market.”
The Ferrero Group has been aggressively expanding its presence in North America with the acquisitions of Fannie May, Nestle’s US confectionery business, Kellogg’s cookies and snacks business, and the Ferrara Candy Co. Today, the company has 18 manufacturing plants in North America and employs 8,000.