Ferrero launches takeover bid for UK's Thorntons - update 2

Chocolate firms set to unite

(ANSA) - Turin, June 22 - Italian food giant Ferrero, the maker of the Nutella spread and Ferrero Rocher chocolates, said Monday that it is making a takeover bid for British confectioner confectioner Thorntons. The Italian company said it would pay 145 pence for each Thorntons share for a total of close to £112 million - or some 157.6 million euros. The news sent Thorntons' share price soaring, increasing by over 40% to approach the 145p mark. Ferrero announced that it has acquired has bought a 29.9% stake in Thorntons and has the backing of owners for 4.5% more. "This transactions brings together two highly complementary businesses, but more importantly it unites two companies that share the same passion for growing brands, and a proud heritage, drive and culture built upon their family foundations," Ferrero CEO Giovanni Ferrero said in a statement.
    "We have long admired Thortons and what they have achieved in the UK as demonstrated by their tremendous customer loyalty, and we look forward to working with their experienced team".