A Ferrero Rocher chocolate is seen in Milan
Chocolatier Ferrero Rocher is buying up UK firm Thorntons Reuters

The maker of Ferrero Rocher is offering £111.9m (€156.4m, $177.85) in cash to buy Derbyshire-based chocolatier Thorntons.

The offer was announced on Monday 22 June as a Ferroro subsidiary in the UK, known as Ferholding, bought the shares of individual investors such as John von Spreckelsen and investment managers Hotchkis & Wiley for 145p each. Combined, this block represented 20,609,641 shares. The price is a 42.9% premium on the closing price of the company's shares on Friday 19 June.

Ferrero also bought up shares from Thorntons directors, including Paul Wilkinson and Jonathan Hart for the same price.

"Ferrero is offering our shareholders an attractive premium to the average price of Thorntons' shares over the last three months," Thorntons chairman Wilkinson said of the deal. "Thorntons also recognises the potential benefits to the brand and the business, including employees and all stakeholders from combining with the Ferrero Group.

Ferroro's Ferholding branch now owns 34.36% (23,686,136) of the UK chocolatier's shares and is looking to buy more. The subsidiary was set up in the UK on 12 June for the sole purpose of buying up Thorntons. Thorntons' share price rose 42.86% on news of the deal.