The UK has its own peppermint sweets company, Peppermint UK, which has just sold its shares to a Japanese company.
The new owners will now have to pay a premium to buy the shares.
The company was set up in 2005 and has grown from a small bakery in the north of England into a major manufacturer of candies, cakes and sweets.
The current owners are Japanese conglomerate Sumitomo Chemical.
The firm is also part of the Japanese conglomerate Hitachi.
It makes chemicals and plastics.
The deal has been approved by the European Commission, which regulates the sale of the products.
The news comes as a result of a joint investigation by the BBC and the Daily Telegraph.
The two organisations revealed that in 2016, the British manufacturer of the iconic peppermint biscuits and sweets made payments of £12.5 million to a British company, including the £3.5m paid in cash, and £9.3 million in shares.
Both the Daily Mail and the BBC reported that Sumitomacash, which makes peppermint and mint biscuits and has a joint venture with British brand Bumblebee, paid £10 million to the Chinese company that owns the biscuits and biscuits maker BumbleBee Holdings.
The BBC has previously reported that a British brand of Peppermint, known as the “Candy Candy”, has been found to have bought up its own candy maker, while a Chinese company called Bumblebees had been accused of selling off its own brand of peppermint snacks.
In response, Sumitome confirmed to Business Insider that it had bought Bumble Bees and Peppermint brands in 2020.
But, according to the Daily Mirror, the company did not confirm that the companies bought Peppermint products.
It did not respond to a request for comment.
The Telegraph said it found no evidence that the brands had been sold or even used in any way in Britain.
It added that a spokeswoman for Sumitoma said the company was “committed to maintaining the integrity of the company and its suppliers”.
“The company has always been committed to maintaining high standards of corporate governance and we continue to work closely with the authorities to ensure we maintain the highest ethical standards,” the spokeswoman said.
Sumitomi has been selling its brands in the UK for almost 20 years, but it did not disclose the exact sales figures.