Leaf International

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Leaf International BV
Industry Sugar confectionery
Successors Cloetta
Founded 1940
Headquarters Oosterhout, the Netherlands and Stockholm, Sweden
Products Candy, Gum, Pastilles
Owners CVC Capital Partners, Nordic Capital
Employees 2,500
Website www.leaf.eu
Not to be confused with Leaf Brands.

Leaf International BV was a confectionery company.

History and acquisitions[edit]

Leaf was founded in 1940. On 15 February 2012 Leaf merged with the Swedish confectionery company Cloetta.[1] The new company is called Cloetta.


LEAF products include sugared and sugar-free gum, pastilles, candy, liquorices, peppermints, chocolate, nougat, sweeteners, and chews.

Employees and factories[edit]

LEAF had sales of approximately €527m (2010) and 2,400 employees. It has 11 factories in seven countries. LEAF is owned by CVC Capital Partners, Nordic Capital, and management. Bengt Baron is the CEO of LEAF.

Current brands[edit]

Company history[edit]

The company was originally founded by Sol S. Leaf in Chicago, Illinois. Mr. Leaf started various candy companies beginning in the 1920s, and they were merged into Leaf Brands in 1947. Its history includes a number of mergers, acquisitions, and divisions, as well as several name changes.

The Leaf Confectionery Company introduced Rainblo Bubble Gum in 1940. In 1947, the Overland Candy Company merged with the Chicago Biscuit Company, Leaf Gum, and Leaf Machinery. In 1948, Leaf issued its first set of baseball cards, the first post-World War II, color set.[2] In 1949, Leaf Brands reintroduced malted milk balls under the name of Whoppers Malted Milk Balls.

In the 1960s, The Whoppers Malted Milk Balls brand, along with other products manufactured by Leaf Brands, was purchased by W. R. Grace and Company and in 1976 the candy brands were repurchased by Leaf.

In 1983, Leaf acquired Jolly Rancher.[3] Also in 1983, the Leaf Candy Company in Illinois was purchased by Huhtamäki Oyj of Helsinki, Finland, and merged it with Phoenix Candy (the maker of Now and Later) and another candy company it had acquired, all under the Leaf name.[4][5] Huhtamäki Oyj acquired the Donruss trading card division of General Mills at about the same time and merged it into Leaf.[6][7]

In 1986, Leaf purchased some confectionery brands from Beatrice Foods, the producer of Milk Duds. Also in 1986, Leaf, Inc. sold Phoenix Candy to Kouri Capital, a Finnish investment firm, and changed that company's name to Phoenix Confections.[4]

In 1988, Hollywood Brands, the maker of Payday and Zero, was purchased from Sara Lee by Huhtamäki Oyj and became part of Leaf, Inc.[7][8] In 1989, the Heath bar was purchased by Leaf.[7]

In the 1990s, Leaf had become one of the world's top ten confectionery companies; it was especially strong in non-chocolate products such as pastilles and chewing gum.[5] By 1993, Leaf was the fourth largest candy producer in North America.[7]

The Hershey Foods Corporation acquired the Leaf North American confectionery operations from Huhtamäki Oyj in 1996. Over the next few years, Leaf manufacturing and sales became integrated into existing Hershey manufacturing and sales operations, effectively ending Leaf's existence as a separate operating unit in the US.[3][5][9]

In 1999, Leaf's European and Asian business, with brands such as Läkerol, Jenkki, and Sportlife, was sold to the Dutch company CSM, which added the brands to their confectionery unit, which already included Malaco, Red Band, and Venco. In 2000, CSM acquired Continental Sweets with market positions in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and the UK. In 2001, CSM acquired Socalbe, based in Italy, along with brands such as Dietorelle and Dietor.

In 2005, CSM sold its confectionery unit to two private equity firms, CVC Capital Partners and Nordic Capital, that restored the LEAF name and continue to own the company today. In 2007, LEAF acquired Cadbury Italy, including the brand Saila.

On 15 February 2012, Leaf merged with the Swedish confectionery company Cloetta.[1] The new company is called Cloetta.


  1. ^ a b "LEAF and Cloetta merger completed". Retrieved 2012-02-26. 
  2. ^ "Steve's Type Set webpage". Retrieved 2012-03-20. 
  3. ^ a b "Hershey's Official Jolly Rancher webpage". Retrieved 05-03-2006.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  4. ^ a b Farley and Sather's official site "Farley and Sather's official site". 
  5. ^ a b c "Our Journey". Huhtamäki Oyj. Retrieved 08-03-2006.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  6. ^ "About Donruss". Donruss Company. Retrieved 08-03-2006.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  7. ^ a b c d Dyslin, John (July 1993). "Prepared Foods".  |chapter= ignored (help)
  8. ^ "Hershey's Official Zero webpage". 
  9. ^ "Annual Report". Hershey Foods Corporation. 1998.  |chapter= ignored (help)

External links[edit]