The deal represented a cash offer price at 375 pence per share and implied an enterprise value of £570m and a multiple of approximately 23.7 times underlying earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the 53-week period ended 2 July 2023.
In its statement, Mars said its acquisition of the chocolate maker was driven by a long-time admiration of Hotel Chocolat’s credentials as a contemporary, premium brand with a differentiated product offering, supported by its physical store presence and digital commerce platform.
“Mars believes that Hotel Chocolat and Mars are culturally aligned, with shared values of quality, sustainability and purpose among their guiding principles,” read the statement.
“Mars' stated purpose is ‘the world we want tomorrow starts with how we do business today’ and it shares the passion and conviction in Hotel Chocolat's mission, ‘to make people and nature happy through reinventing chocolate’.”
Commenting on its future plans for the brand, Mars claimed it would support Hotel Chocolat’s growth internationally while leveraging its committed, long-term capital to help it meet its objectives.
Andrew Clarke, Global President of Mars Snacking, added: “Mars has a long and proud history in the UK, and today’s announcement further strengthens our commitment to this important market by bringing an exciting brand into our portfolio and deepening our relationship with consumers.
“Building on the strong foundations that Angus, Peter and their team have established, we are very excited to support Hotel Chocolat’s next phase of growth.
“We are confident that Mars will be an excellent long-term home for Hotel Chocolat, providing a like-minded, entrepreneurial and purpose-led environment in which to maximise the potential of the Hotel Chocolat brand which is already so beloved by consumers.”
Angus Thirlwell, chief executive officer of Hotel Chocolat said in Mars his company had found a “true meeting of minds” – in strong cultural values, bold strategy and true long-termism.
“We know our brand resonates with consumers overseas, but operational supply chain challenges have held us back. By partnering with Mars, we can grow our international presence much more quickly using their skills, expertise and capabilities,” Thirwell continued.
“The pillars on which we have built the Hotel Chocolat brand – originality, authenticity and ethical trading, is precisely what brought Hotel Chocolat and Mars together and our intention is to strengthen and invest behind these. I’m excited about the future of the business and in Mars we have found an excellent long-term steward of the Hotel Chocolat brand and everything we stand for.”
Meanwhile, last month, Asda Group has announced the acquisition of EG Group’s UK business for an enterprise value of more than £2bn.