Freshfields advises Mars, Incorporated on its recommended acquisition of Hotel Chocolat Group plc
Global law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (‘Freshfields’) advises longstanding client Mars, Incorporated (‘Mars’), and its wholly owned indirect subsidiary Hive Bidco, Inc., on the recommended acquisition of Hotel Chocolat Group plc (‘Hotel Chocolat’), an AIM listed company.
Mars is a leading global manufacturer of chocolate, chewing gum, mints, fruity confections, and other snacks, including brands like M&Ms, Snickers, Orbit, Extra, Kind, and Skittles that are enjoyed in more than 180 countries. Today, its UK business employs over 1,600 people across four UK sites in Slough, Plymouth, Maidenhead and London, manufacturing brands including Mars, Snickers, Galaxy, and Maltesers.
Hotel Chocolat is a premium British chocolate maker with a strong and distinctive direct to consumer brand. The business was founded in 1993 by Angus Thirlwell and Peter Harris, and has traded under the Hotel Chocolat brand since 2003.
The acquisition was announced on 16 November 2023 and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2024, subject to shareholder approval.
The Freshfields team is being led by corporate partners Piers Prichard Jones and Victoria Sigeti, and senior associate Angus Scott, alongside associate Nikki Willson.