Swiss chocolate maker Lindt agrees to buy Russell Stover

ZURICH, July 14 Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:53am EDT

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ZURICH, July 14 (Reuters) - 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.

The Swiss company did not disclose financial details of the transaction, which is expected to help the group exceed sales of $1.5 billion in North America in 2015.

"This biggest and most important strategic acquisition to date in Lindt & Spruengli's history is a unique opportunity for us to expand our North American chocolate business," Lindt Chairman and Chief Executive Ernst Tanner said in a statement. (Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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