|Headquarters||Oosterhout, the Netherlands and Stockholm, Sweden|
|Products||Candy, Gum, Pastilles|
|Owner||CVC Capital Partners, Nordic Capital|
Number of employees
Leaf International BV was a confectionery company.
History and acquisitions
Leaf products included sugared and sugar-free gum, pastilles, candy, liquorices, peppermints, chocolate, nougat, sweeteners, and chews.
Employees and factories
Leaf had sales of approximately €527m (2010) and 2,400 employees. It has 11 factories in seven countries. Leaf was owned by CVC Capital Partners, Nordic Capital, and management. Bengt Baron was the CEO of Leaf.
- Red Band (Netherlands)
- Läkerol (Sweden)
- Malaco (Sweden)
- Saila (Italy)
- Sportlife (Netherlands, Belgium)
- Jenkki (Finland)
- Chewits (United Kingdom)
- Xylifresh (Netherlands)
- King (Netherlands)
- Sisu (Finland)
- Dietor (Italy)
- Galatine (Italy)
- Sperlari (Italy)
- Tupla (Finland)
- Mynthon (Finland)
- Dietorelle (Italy)
- Venco (Netherlands)
- Ahlgrens bilar (Sweden)
The company was founded by Sol S. Leaf in Chicago, Illinois in the 1940s. This and other companies he founded were merged to create Leaf Brands in 1947. Its history includes a number of mergers, acquisitions, and divisions, as well as several name changes.
In 1940, the Leaf Confectionery Company introduced Rainblo Bubble Gum. In 1947, the Overland Candy Company (makers of Whoppers brand malted milk candy) merged with the Chicago Biscuit Company, Leaf Confectionary Company, and Leaf Machinery to form Leaf Brands. In 1948, Leaf issued its first set of baseball cards, the first post-World War II color set. In 1949, Leaf Brands reintroduced Whoppers Malted Milk Balls.
In the 1960s, Whoppers Malted Milk Balls brand and other products manufactured by Leaf Brands were purchased by W. R. Grace and Company, who sold them back in 1976.
In 1983, Leaf acquired Jolly Rancher. 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. Huhtamäki Oyj acquired the Donruss trading card division of General Mills at about the same time and merged it into Leaf.
In 1986, Leaf purchased some confectionery brands from Beatrice Foods, maker of Milk Duds. Also in 1986, Leaf, Inc. sold Phoenix Candy to Kouri Capital, a Finnish investment firm, changing its name to Phoenix Confections.
In the 1990s, Leaf became one of the world's top-ten confectionery companies; it was especially strong in non-chocolate products such as pastilles and chewing gum. By 1993 Leaf was the fourth largest candy producer in North America.
In 1996, the Hershey Foods Corporation acquired the Leaf North American confectionery operations from Huhtamäki Oyj. 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.
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.
- "LEAF and Cloetta merger completed". Retrieved 2012-02-26.
- "Steve's Type Set webpage". Retrieved 2012-03-20.
- "Hershey's Official Jolly Rancher webpage". Retrieved 2006-03-05.
- "Farley and Sather's official site".
- "Our Journey". Huhtamäki Oyj. Retrieved 2006-03-08.
- "About Donruss". Donruss Company. Retrieved 2006-03-08.
- Dyslin, John (July 1993). "LEAF branches out". Prepared Foods.
- "Hershey's Official Zero webpage".
- Ono, Yumiko (1996-10-21). "Hershey Will Buy Candy Unit From Huhtamaki Oy's Leaf". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2016-11-11.
- "Summary". Annual Report. Hershey Foods Corporation. 1998.