Houlihan Lokey Advises Eat Natural

Houlihan Lokey is pleased to announce that Eat Natural has agreed to be acquired by the Ferrero Group (Ferrero). The transaction was signed on 17 December 2020. The financial terms are undisclosed, and the transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals.

Founded in 1997, Eat Natural is a leading UK-based better-for-you snacking bar brand with in-house manufacturing facilities. The product portfolio includes a range of healthy snacking bars based on cereal ingredients and toasted mueslis, manufactured at the company’s factory in Halstead, North Essex. Customers include major UK retailers such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s, and Waitrose. The company also exports its products to 33 countries, with the Netherlands, France, Sweden, and Germany being the key export markets.

Ferrero is a family-owned business founded in Alba, Italy, in 1946. It is the third-largest company in the global chocolate confectionery market and is home to many iconic household brands, including Nutella, Kinder, Ferrero Rocher, and Tic Tac. The company has sales in excess of €11 billion, distribution across more than 170 countries, and a workforce of more than 44,000 people. Product freshness and high quality, the careful selection of the finest raw materials, sustainable agricultural practices, and continuous research and innovation are some of the key elements of Ferrero’s success.

Ferrero will build on Eat Natural’s strong brand authenticity and support the company with wider distribution and expansion opportunities into new international markets and categories.

The transaction demonstrates Houlihan Lokey’s strength in the better-for-you snacking sector and ability to achieve superior client outcomes in complex situations. This deal continues its outstanding track record in the food industry, having announced more than 30 transactions since January 2020.

Houlihan Lokey served as exclusive financial advisor to the shareholders of Eat Natural and assisted in initiating, structuring, and negotiating all aspects of the transaction on its behalf.

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