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A Sweetheart Deal: Hostess Cupcakes’ Savior Buys Maker of Necco Wafers and Candy Hearts

June 1, 2018, 9:35 PM UTC

The New England Confectionery Company (Necco), the 171-year-old company that makes Necco wafers and the chalky candy hearts that have become a hallmark of Valentine’s Day, has been acquired by Sweetheart Candy Co. for $17.3 million.

Sweeatheart Candy Co., owned by the Metropoulos family, swooped in to buy the company after another deal with Spangler Candies fell apart earlier this week.

The deal closed Thursday. It appeared that Spangler Candies, makers of DumDums lollipops and Circus Peanuts, would become the new owners of Necco, after its $18.83 million offer topped one from Round Hill Investments.

But that deal fell apart after Spangler pushed for the purchase price to be adjusted, which caused the sale to collapse, according to court documents the WSJ reported.

Necco, which was owned by New York investment firm Aris Capital, filed for bankruptcy in April. The company also makes Candy Buttons, Mary Janes, and Clark Bars.

“We are extremely excited to bring our extensive background and expertise to bear in working to revive Necco and its amazing brands, all of which have a special place in the heart of Americana,” said Evan Metropoulos.

The Metropoulos family is known for revitalizing iconic brands, including Hostess and Chef Boyardee. They have invested in about 80 entities, including Pabst Blue Ribbon, Bumble Bee, Vlasic, Ghirardelli, and Perrier Jouet.

Necco, which is headquartered in Revere, Mass., calls itself America’s oldest candy company and has been in operation since 1847. The company has struggled in recent years, though and launched a desperate search to find a buyer.