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Smarties Candy won't sell the business, but it may buy others: Co-president

  • Smarties Candy isn't looking to sell the company anytime soon but it might be open to acquiring others, Co-president Liz Dee told CNBC on Friday.

Smarties Candy isn't looking to sell the company anytime soon but it might be open to acquiring others, Co-president Liz Dee told CNBC on Friday.

The company is one of America's oldest family-run businesses. Dee took over as co-president, along with her sister and cousin, earlier this month. Her uncle Jonathan Dee, the last president, served in that role for 40 years.

"We get approached pretty regularly about acquisition, and our line is always the same: 'Smarties are not for sale,'" she told CNBC's "Power Lunch."

Dee declined to specify which companies have approached her and how much she has been offered.

"Let's just say, no number would be enough. We love what we do, and we're going to keep it privately held, family-owned," she said.

Although she may not be interested in selling, she is interested in buying.

"We're looking at brands — [and are] certainly open to acquiring more brands," she said but did not comment further.

Smarties Candy
Source: Smarties Candy
Smarties Candy

The New Jersey-based confectionery sells over two billion Smarties rolls per year. 2016 saw record Smarties sales, and "2017 is poised to beat it," Dee said.

So how does this 70-year-old brand manage to stay competitive?

"Today's consumers have changing needs. They're looking for more fat-free candy — gluten-free, peanut-free, vegan, dairy-free — and Smarties can tick all of those boxes. So while we are a classic candy brand, we're really working for the modern consumer these days," she said.