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Mon July 14, 2014
Lindt Chocolate Maker Purchases Russell Stover
Another iconic Kansas City-based company has been sold. Lindt, a Swiss chocolate company, has reached a deal to buy Russell Stover, according the the New York Times. The announcement comes nine months after the sale of one of Kansas City's other iconic retailers — Boulevard Brewing Co.
Details of the sale are not being released, but sources of The Financial Times say Lindt will spend something approaching $1.5 billion to buy Russell Stover.
Russell Stover has been based in Kansas since 1931, a few years after Russell Stover himself started the company in Denver, Colo., with money he made for his part in inventing the modern ice cream bar.
The Ward family, which has owned Russell Stover for 54 years, put the company up for sale earlier this year.
Russell Stover employs about 4,500 people and annual sales run at about $600 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Lindt specializes in higher-end chocolates, and already has a sizable presence in the United States.
Lindt will maintain Russell Stover headquarters in Kansas City.