Snacks & Candy

Hershey Invests in Pretzel Segment With 2 Purchases

Dot’s acquisition will help manufacturer build its salty-snack portfolio
The Hershey Co. Acquires Dot's Pretzels

HERSHEY, Pa. — The Hershey Co. has entered into an agreement to acquire Dot’s Pretzels LLC, the owner of Dot’s Homestyle Pretzels, a deal that Hershey said will complement its growing salty-snack portfolio and will “create an opportunity to reach new consumers in new occasions.”

“As the fastest growing U.S. pretzel brand, Dot’s Pretzels would further accelerate our success in the permissible salty-snack category, along with our successful SkinnyPop and Pirate’s Booty brands," said Michele Buck, The Hershey Co.’s president and CEO. “Dot’s Pretzels stand apart from all other products in the pretzel category and represents 55% of the pretzel category's growth during the past year.”

Created more than a decade ago in North Dakota by founder Dot Henke in her home kitchen, Dot’s Pretzels started as a snack that she shared with family, friends and neighbors to get through cold North Dakota winters. Henke built her business by holding to high quality standards, the company said, a tradition the company proudly continues today.

“I created my pretzels to share with those people closest to me and have built the business with the idea of sharing them with everyone,” said Henke. “With Hershey behind this amazing brand, I am confident that anyone who would like to enjoy these deliciously bold pretzels will have the opportunity.”

In a related deal, Hershey also has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Pretzels Inc. from an affiliate of Peak Rock Capital, a private investment firm with numerous investments in the food and beverage industry. Pretzels Inc. is a co-manufacturer of pretzels for Dot's Pretzels and several other customers. Based in Bluffton, Ind., Pretzels Inc. operates three manufacturing locations in Indiana and Kansas. When the transactions are completed, these three manufacturing locations will be in addition to four pretzel-seasoning facilities to be acquired with Dot’s Pretzels LLC.

“Pretzels Inc. will help us expand Hershey’s snacking and production capabilities while keeping the special connection to Dot’s,” said Buck. “It will be important as we continue to grow this already fast-growing brand and create new products in the broader pretzel category.”

The total purchase price for these two proposed acquisitions is approximately $1.2 billion. It will be financed with cash on hand and short-term borrowings. The acquisitions are subject to customary regulatory approvals and are expected to close by the end of 2021.

The Hershey Co., Hershey, Pa., has more than 80 brands around the world that drive $8 billion in annual revenues, including Hershey’s, Reese’s, Kit Kat, Jolly Rancher, Ice Breakers, SkinnyPop and Pirate’s Booty.

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