Three years after taking a minority stake in the healthy snacking company, Mars Inc. has acquired KIND North America, with KIND to function as a “distinct and separate business within the Mars Family of Cos.”
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, however The News York Times, citing sources close to the matter, valued KIND at US$5-billion.
KIND North America will join KIND International to create one organization operating across 35 countries. The acquisition is the next step in the companies’ strategic partnership, which began three years ago to strengthen Mars’ reach and commitment to the growing healthy snacks category.
Founded in 2004, KIND has a family of more than 100 snacks that feature a nutrient-dense first ingredient (whole nuts, whole grains or whole fruit) and do not contain genetically engineered ingredients, sugar alcohols or artificial sweeteners.
“I am so proud of how well the Mars and KIND teams have complemented and strengthened each other over the past three years,” Daniel Lubetzky, KIND founder and executive chairman, said in a statement. “We are now well positioned to further advance our efforts and continue building a foremost health and wellness platform.”
During its three-year partnership with Mars, KIND has expanded into more than 35 countries, including China, Germany and France, and into several news categories with the launch of new products, including KIND Bark, KIND Frozen Bars and KIND Smoothie Bowls.
“When we began this partnership, I said it was one built on mutual admiration and a shared vision for growth,” said Mars CEO Grant F. Reid. “After three years, you can see the impact, as together we have grown the healthy snacking category and brought KIND and the KIND Promise to 35 countries and into new categories. We’re delighted to continue to build on this success and welcome KIND North America into the Mars Family of Cos.”
Lubetzky will play a key role in the future development and expansion of KIND. He will retain a financial stake in KIND, a majority of which was previously donated to charity to further his philanthropic efforts.
With $40 billion in annual sales, Mars has a diverse and expanding portfolio including recognizable brands: M&M’s, Milky Way, Snickers, Twix, Orbit, Pedigree, Royal Canin, Skittles, Ben’s Original, Whiskas, Cocoavia and 5.
A version of this article appeared at CCentral.ca.