Robbie Vorhaus, a spokesperson for the company told ConfectioneryNews: “They are exploring a sale, but there is no sale imminent. It’s all part of an exploratory process. This may or may not result in a sale.”
Russell Stover had planned to explore sale options in private after appointing Goldman Sachs, but the news was leaked to The Wall Street Journal last Friday.
“Russell Stover is in great shape and we are looking at different growth strategies and looking for what’s best for the brand going forward,” said Vorhaus today. “The focus is more on the perceived value and what the interest is in the market.”
He said the company may consider offers of around $1.3bn. “But there’s no numbers and no suitors. It’s all too early.”
Russell Stover is America’s leading boxed chocolate company and behind only Hershey and Mars in the overall US chocolate market.
The company is privately held by the Ward family and employs around 2,700 people across factories two factories in Kansas, a plant in Colorado and another in Texas. Its products are sold at major retailers including Walmart, Walgreens and CVS. It also operates around 40 company-owned retail stores.