MILAN, Oct 21 (Reuters) -
* The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has cleared the acquisition of Illinois-based Ferrara Candy Co by Italian confectionary group Ferrero, the regulator said in its website.
* Nutella maker Ferrero on Thursday agreed to buy Ferrara Candy Company, the third-largest U.S. non-chocolate confectionary company, from private equity firm L Catterton for an undisclosed amount.
* In January, when private equity firm Onex Corp failed to reach a deal to acquire Ferrara Candy Co, people familiar with the matter said the transaction had a value close to $1.3 billion, including debt.
* The deal, on which Lazard acted as Ferrero's adviser, is expected to close by the end of the year
* Italy's Ferrero said the acquisition would allow it to strengthen its distribution and commercial capabilities in the U.S. market, while adding gummy and seasonal candies to its specialties Nutella hazelnut spread, Ferrero Rocher pralines and Tic Tac candies. (Reporting by Francesca Landini; Editing by Ros Russell)