Hershey to Acquire Amplify Snack Brands in Cash Deal

Clyde Nash
December 19, 2017

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"This acquisition will dramatically transform Campbell, shifting our center of gravity and further diversifying our portfolio into the faster-growing snacking category".

Soup sales have fallen 9% since past year, the company reported in November. Over the last several years, the company has been working to boost its portfolio of "better-for-you products", including through its $1.9 billion purchase of San Francisco-based Diamond Foods in March 2016.

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Late previous year, Snyder's-Lance said it was selling Diamond Foods' nut business to a private equity firm, while keeping other Diamond products. This month it completed its $700 million acquisition of organic broth and soup company Pacific Foods.

Campbell's has been broadening its brand in recent years. Consumers are demanding snacks that are felt to be healthier and as a result, traditional makers of crisps and chocolates are exploring new brands that fit evolving tastes. Snyder's-Lance had considered moving production out of MA but instead decided it would add to the size of its facility and upgrade the tour for visitors.

The acquisition is expected to close in Q2, 2018.

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Snyder's CEO Carl Lee Jr. stepped down earlier this year after 12 years at the snack company.

It is unclear whether the deal will result in any layoffs at the Snyder's-Lance corporate headquarters in Ballantyne, where the company employs about 1,300. Snacks will amount to almost half of Campbell's annual revenue, while soup will fall to slightly more than a quarter. In addition, the company plans to suspend share repurchases to help pay for the extra borrowing.

"In the meantime, it is business as usual for us", Snyder's-Lance spokesman Joey Shevlin told the Observer in an email Monday.

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