Hotel Chocolat Group shares experienced a significant boost, reaching their highest one-day rise since October 2016, following Mars Inc.’s proposed takeover worth £534 million ($663.1 million). This acquisition aims to support Hotel Chocolat’s growth both within and outside the U.K.
In a statement released on Thursday, the London-listed chocolate manufacturer expressed Mars Inc.’s enthusiasm for the long-term prospects of the Hotel Chocolat business. The company reassured that Mars Inc. intends to continue supporting Hotel Chocolat’s operations within the U.K. and explore opportunities to expand the Hotel Chocolat brand globally.
The decision to accept the takeover is also driven by Hotel Chocolat’s need for immediate equity funding for their international expansion plans. As a listed company, raising capital in the short to medium term would present challenges for Hotel Chocolat.
Mars Inc., with its strong international presence, global supply chain, and extensive commercial relationships, is well-positioned to propel Hotel Chocolat into its next phase of growth. The acquisition is expected to complement Mars Inc.’s existing market presence in the U.K., leveraging Hotel Chocolat’s expertise in product development, luxury gifting, and immersive brand experiences.
Mars Inc. has been operating in the U.K. since 1932, employing approximately 10,000 people. This acquisition marks a strategic move for the company to further solidify its foothold in the market.
Under the terms of the deal, shareholders of Hotel Chocolat will receive £375 in cash for each share held. This price represents a significant premium compared to the closing price of 139.0 pence on Wednesday and the IPO price of 148 pence in May 2016.
Stephen Alexander, Chairman of Hotel Chocolat, expressed his positive outlook on the merger, emphasizing the value this collaboration brings for both the shareholders and employees. The combination of forces with Mars Inc. is expected to create exciting opportunities for Hotel Chocolat employees as they become part of the Mars family.