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Lindt to buy Russell Stover for 'more than $1B'

Swiss chocolate maker Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Spruengli said it had agreed to acquire family-owned U.S. candy business Russell Stover, making it the No. 3 chocolate manufacturer in North America.

Lindt and Sprungli CEO, Ernst Tanner, told CNBC that the deal was an "unique opportunity" and was worth in excess of $1 billion.

"(It's) a good position to be in," he said. "With our power of innovating and introducing new products Russel Stover would greatly benefit," he said.

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Source: Russell Stover

The deal is expected to help the Swiss group exceed sales of $1.5 billion in North America in 2015. Tanner added that it was, financially, a very good acquisition for his company, but would not confirm the exact amount paid.

Although Tanner conceded that he had set his sights on the U.S.' developed chocolate market for many years now, he added that he had not given up hope of branching out into developing markets like China and India.

"The markets per say are relatively small and there are no leading companies in those markets. Most of those markets the premium chocolate segment does not even exist," he said.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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