According to reports, the agreement follows discussions over the projected future of Hotel Chocolat, with the British company acknowledging that the food giant is well positioned to support it in its international expansion efforts.
Hotel Chocolat was established in North London in 2004, and today boasts 126 stores, as well as cafés, restaurants, outlets, and factory stores.
'Strong Long-Term Prospects'
Commenting on the deal, Stephen Alexander, chair of Hotel Chocolat said, “Hotel Chocolat is a brand with strong long-term prospects and today's deal will allow it to grow further and faster.
"Joining forces with Mars will deliver great value through the Cash Offer for Hotel Chocolat shareholders and the combination will create exciting opportunities for Hotel Chocolat employees as part of Mars.”
'Differentiated And Much-Loved'
Elsewhere, Andrew Clarke, global president of Mars Snacking, said that the confectionery giant has "long admired" the Hotel Chocolat business, which is a "differentiated and much-loved brand, with an impressive product offering and a deep commitment to its values of originality, authenticity and ethical trading.
“The Mars and Hotel Chocolat businesses are highly complementary, and during the course of our discussions with Hotel Chocolat's leadership it has also become clear that there is a very strong cultural fit - with purpose at the heart of both organisations, and a shared passion for quality and sustainability."
The agreement is likely to make Hotel Chocolat’s two co-founders, Angus Thirlwell and Peter Harris, who each own a 21.7% stake in the business, more than £100 million (€114 million) each, according to reports.
The deal is set to close in the first quarter of 2024.