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Ferrara Pan Candy to merge with Farley’s & Sathers

The candymaking process FerrarPan Candy Co. west suburban Forest Park. Richard A. Chapman/Sun-Times

The candymaking process at Ferrara Pan Candy Co. in west suburban Forest Park. Richard A. Chapman/Sun-Times

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Updated: May 23, 2012 6:58PM

Forest Park-based Ferrara Pan Candy — maker of Lemonheads and Atomic FireBalls — and Farley’s & Sathers Candy Co. of Minnesota announced Wednesday the two will merge.

The combined company will maintain the century-old Ferrara name and will be led by Salvatore Ferrara II, the chairman and CEO of Ferrara Pan, and grandson of its founder. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Catterton Partners, the private equity firm that owns Farley’s & Sathers, will remain as a majority investor in the combined company.

Ferrara produces Red Hots, Black Forest Gummy Bears, Boston Baked Beans and Jawbusters candies.

The late elder Salvatore Ferrara founded the company in Chicago in 1908, selling the candy-coated almonds known as “confetti” that signify good luck at Italian weddings. His son, Nello Ferrara, came up with the idea of spicy-hot Atomic FireBalls in 1954, after serving in Occupied Japan in the post-atom bomb era. Nello Ferrara, former chairman of the company, died in February.

Farley’s & Sathers, founded in 2002, has become one of the top 25 makers of confections in the world through internal growth and acquisitions, including acquiring brands Now and Later, Brachs and Super Bubble gum.

“This transaction brings together two well-positioned candy companies with iconic brands and loyal consumer and customer followings to create a category leader,” Salvatore Ferrara II said in a statement.

The deal will allow the companies to leverage their joint expertise with “current confections and innovate to develop new offerings,” he said.

The companies did not immediately return calls regarding whether the merger will lead to job cuts or expansion.

The deal is subject to regulatory approval.

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