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Snacks & Candy

Spangler Acquires Necco Wafers, Sweethearts

Deal was candy company's second go at New England Confectionery Co.

BRYAN, Ohio -- Independent confectionery company The Spangler Co. has acquired Necco Wafers and Sweethearts—two longtime brands of the New England Confectionery Co.—for an undisclosed amount. The purchase marks Spangler’s second attempt at Necco’s assets this year.

In March, Michael McGee, Necco's CEO, said the confectionery would lay off hundreds of employees if it couldn’t find a buyer. When an acquisition didn't surface, Necco filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and was forced into a federally required auction, seeking new owners for all its candy brands.

Two months later, The Boston Globe reported that Spangler had purchased Necco for nearly $19 million, keeping the 117-year-old confectionery from extinction; however, just two weeks later, news broke that Greenwich, Conn.-based Metropoulos & Co., a private-equity firm, purchased Necco for more than $17 million after Spangler withdrew its initial offer. Things fell quiet until July, when Metropoulos confirmed it had instead sold Necco to an undisclosed buyer in a deal that officially shut down the confectionery’s Revere, Mass.-based facility.

Earlier in September, the Union Confectionery Machinery Co. hosted a public auction for Necco’s assets, where another acquisition occurred: The Boyer Candy Co., a longtime chocolate producer, acquired Necco’s peanut butter and taffy candy bar brand, Clark Bar.

Now, with two more-than-100-year-old candy labels in its portfolio, Spangler will use Necco’s assets as a catalyst for growth, said Kirk Vashaw, chairman and CEO of the Bryan, Ohio-based confectionery.

“There are a lot of manufacturing challenges and unanswered questions at this point, and we want to make sure these brands meet consumer expectations when they re-enter the market,” he said. “We look forward to announcing the Sweethearts relaunch for the 2020 Valentine season and hope to reintroduce Necco Wafers to the marketplace in 2019.”

Spangler produces lollipops, candy canes and marshmallow candies. Its brands include Dum Dums, Saf-T-Pops, Spangler Candy Canes and Spangler Circus Peanuts. The company has been privately owned since its founding in 1906.

Photograph courtesy of The Spangler Co.

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