Sources tell the Wall Street Journal that privately-held candy-maker Russell Stover is up for sale.
Founded 90 years ago by Russell and Clara Stover, Russell Stover is currently the third-biggest U.S. manufacturer of candies, generating annual sales of about $600 million. Its chocolate candy gift boxes are a familiar sight to shoppers at a broad range of retail locations, including supermarkets, convenience and drug stores.
The asking price for Russell Stover could be higher than $1 billion. The company has a current payroll of about 4,500 workers. It earns about $60 million a year, before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization. Discussions about a possible sale of the company are said to be in the early stages.
In addition to is eponymous brand, Russell Stover also owns the Whitman’s and Pangburn’s candy brands.
Russell Stover could draw interest from rival candy-makers like Hershey (HSY), Nestle (NSRGY) or Mars Inc.