Business

Hawaiian Host to Acquire Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corporation

January 13, 2015, 4:32 PM HST
* Updated January 13, 4:33 PM
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Hawaiian Host, Inc., one of Hawai’i’s premier brands and the originator of chocolate covered macadamias, announced Tuesday that the company has entered into an agreement with The Hershey Company to acquire the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corporation.

Mauna Loa will join Hawaiian Host as a subsidiary once the acquisition is completed and both companies will continue operations as two separate and distinct brands.

Mauna Loa was acquired in 2004 by The Hershey Company.

“This acquisition will create a great opportunity for both companies, our employees and the community. It brings Mauna Loa back under Hawai’i ownership, joins together two strong, local brands, and lays the foundation for continued success,” president and chief executive officer of Hawaiian Host Keith Sakamoto said. “We are excited to welcome Mauna Loa’s outstanding employees to the Hawaiian Host family. Both companies have a long history of operating in Hawai’i and sharing our products with the world. And we remain committed to continuing to offer the same quality products our customers have grown to know and expect.”

Mauna Loa planted its first macadamia nut trees near Kea’au, where the facilities and visitor center are located currently on 136 acres of land in 1946.

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As one of the largest and most experienced macadamia nut processors in the world, the Mauna Loa has the seasonal capacity to process about 40 million pounds of macadamias.

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In addition to the macadamia nuts processed, Mauna Loa is known for its production of chocolate covered macadamias and flavored macadamia nut products that are distributed locally, nationally, and internationally.

“Both Hawaiian Host and Mauna Loa have a long history of supporting local growers and farmers as well as our community. And with more than 300 employees in Hawai’i we will continue that legacy together,” Sakamoto added.

Officials expect the acquisition to be finalized during the first quarter of 2015. No immediate staff changes have been planned and addition details of the acquisition have not, and are not planned, to be released.

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Hawaiian Host was founded by a third-generation Japanese descendent, Mamoru Takitani, who dreamed of becoming a candy maker. Upon arriving to Honolulu from Maui, Takitani purchased a local confectioner, Ellen Dye Candies, and renamed it Hawaiian Host. Hawaiian Host has since become “Hawai’i’s Gift to the World” and is the leader of chocolate-covered macadamia products, with more than 250 products that are sold in more than 23 countries around the world.

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