Snyder's-Lance Focuses on Branded Snack Portfolio

Selling private-label business to Shearer's Foods

Snyder's-Lance (CSP Daily News / Convenience Stores / Snacks)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Snyder's-Lance Inc. has signed an agreement to sell its private-brands portfolio along with two manufacturing facilities in the United States and Canada to Shearer's Foods LLC, a leading provider of private-label snacks based in Massillon, Ohio, for $430 million.

Consistent with the Snyder's-Lance strategic plan, this transaction will allow Snyder's-Lance to focus entirely on its branded products by placing more resources to work on growth categories such as "better-for-you," nutritional and premium snacks. These growth platforms will benefit from incremental product development, innovation, marketing and one of the largest direct-store-delivery (DSD) networks in the United States.

"Over the past several years, we have been building operational and branded capabilities which provide an exceptional platform for accelerating growth," Carl E. Lee Jr., president and CEO. "Private Brands has performed well over that time and is now in a position where a new, private-brands-centric owner can build on this momentum and take it to new levels. Looking forward for Snyder's-Lance, we believe focusing more completely on our branded products will create better long-term shareholder value as we grow organically through product innovation and the acquisition of additional core brands."

He added, "We'll continue to leverage our strong national DSD network, fast-growing direct-sales team, excellent marketing and brand building as well as our strong balance sheet."

Completion of the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and Shearer's obtaining financing for the transaction as well as customary closing conditions; the companies expect the deal to close in second-quarter 2014.

Shearer's Foods is a leading national contract manufacturing and private-label supplier in the snack industry in North America. It produces snacks in assorted flavors and sizes, including kettle cooked potato chips, traditional potato chips, tortilla chips, rice crisps, cheese curls and other extruded snacks and whole grain chips.

Snyder's-Lance, Charlotte, N.C., manufactures and markets snack foods in the United States and internationally. Products include pretzels, sandwich crackers, pretzel crackers, potato chips, cookies, tortilla chips, restaurant style crackers, nuts and other snacks. It sells products under the Snyder's of Hanover, Lance, Cape Cod, Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps, Krunchers!, Tom's, Archway, Jays, Stella D'oro, Eatsmart, O-Ke-Doke, Quitos and other brand names. It distributes products nationally through grocery and mass merchandisers, convenience stores, club stores, food service outlets and other channels.