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01/09/2023

Mars to Add to Health & Wellness Portfolio

The candymaker continues to grow its list of healthy snacks with the acquisition of Trü Frü.
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Tru Fru Snacks

MCLEAN, Va. — Mars Inc. signed an agreement with the founders and management team of Trü Frü to acquire the whole-fruit snacking brand.

Trü Frü's snacks are made from real fruit and immersed in premium chocolate. The snacks are available in both a frozen and shelf-stable format across the United States. The brand's total sales have increased by more than fivefold since the company's founding in 2017.

Andrew Clarke, global president of Mars Snacking, said, "We are thrilled to welcome one of the most innovative fruit-based snacks in the U.S. into the Mars family of brands. We want to be the preferred home for emerging and founder-led brands [and] are looking forward to working with the whole Trü Frü team to help them continue their long-term growth journey and bring the brand to even more people."

Mars said Trü Frü will be complementary to its platform of health and wellness brands, such as KIND and Nature's Bakery. The addition of Trü Frü will also allow the company to meet a growing range of dietary and taste preferences.

"We are delighted to be joining Mars," added Trü Frü CEO Brian Neville. "From the first moment we met the Mars team, we realized they were the right partner for the company we had founded and invested so much of our time and energy in."

Trü Frü will operate as a separate business within Mars. After the acquisition, it will continue to be led by Neville. 

The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and expected to close in the first quarter of 2023. Wells Fargo Securities and Simpson Thacher served as Mars' financial advisor and legal advisor respectively. For Trü Frü, Houlihan Lokey acted as its financial advisor, while Parr Brown served as its legal advisor.

The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Mars is a global, family-owned business. With almost $45 billion in annual sales, the company produces well-known brands such as Ben's Original, Cesar, CocoaVia, Dove, Extra, M&M's, Snickers, Pedigree, Royal Canin and Whiskas. The company also has a global network of pet hospitals and diagnostic services, including AniCura, Banfield, Bluepearl, Linnaeus and VCA.

Trü Frü was founded by its management team, Neville, President Taz Murray and Chief Operating Officer Brandon O’Brien. It is headquartered in West Valley City, Utah, and has approximately 50 employees.