NEW YORK - Kellogg is selling its iconic Keebler cookie brand and other sweet snacks businesses to Ferrero for $1.3 billion.
The Battle Creek, Michigan-based Kellogg Co. says the brands in the deal generated sales of $900 million and profits of $75 million last year. Kellogg is also selling its Mother's and Famous Amos cookie brands, as well as its fruit-flavored snack, pie crust and ice cream cone businesses.
Kellogg acquired Keebler Foods, which was founded in 1853, in 2001 for $3.86 billion.
It expects to use sale proceeds to pay down debt.
Ferrero, an Italian confectionary company best known for its Nutella hazelnut cream, said Monday it will also acquire six U.S. manufacturing plants from Kellogg in the deal.
Kellogg is among many U.S. food companies that have sold off brands in recent years to adapt to a consumer shift toward more fresh, less processed snacks and foods.
The sale is expected to close by the end of July.