Snacks & Candy

Snyder's of Hanover Acquires Utz Quality Foods

Snack companies say combination will strengthen marketplace position
HANOVER, Pa. -- Carl E. Lee Jr., president and CEO of Snyder's of Hanover, recently announced the company's intention to acquire Utz Quality Foods Inc., pending clearance from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The parties plan to close the transaction as soon as possible following FTC clearance and expect to do so by the end of the year.

"We are pleased to announce that two market leaders will be combining forces to create a stronger company that will strengthen our position in the marketplace, serve our retailers and vendors better and continue to give consumers the brands [image-nocss] and products that they have loved from both companies," said Lee.

"This is the perfect marriage of two leading snack food companies whose relative business strengths are highly complementary in terms of product line and geographic reach. Merging our companies together will bring out the best in our respective brands, our people and our cultures and improve our long-term viability in the snack food industry," added Snyder's of Hanover chairman Mike Warehime.

"We'll be playing on the strengths of both companies as we move forward," said Mike Rice, Utz Quality Foods chairman and CEO. "Our two companies have a lot of similarities: we are both privately held, family owned and operated businesses, and we have tremendous community involvement and support local initiatives for the betterment of our community."

The Rice family is excited to be an important part of the new merged entity and to partner with the Snyder's team to create an innovative company focused on growth. In addition, Mike Rice will serve as a director on the Snyder's of Hanover board.

Snyder's of Hanover plans to continue operations in all four of the Hanover, Pa., Utz plants, plus the Snyder's of Hanover's plant, and there will be no anticipated job losses, according to Lee. "In fact," added Lee, "As we develop our expanded portfolio of brands, we believe this will lead to additional sales and manufacturing jobs over time as we grow both brands and expand the new company."

Dylan Lissette, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Utz, said, "The Utz management team will continue after the acquisition, and we are looking forward to working with Snyder's of Hanover, in combining our strengths in product lines, brands and in our now stronger national distribution systems. We'll be able to expand our product reach, and we're confident that new consumers, both domestic and international, will embrace the Utz brands."

The acquisition will help to strengthen both the Utz and Snyder's distribution systems and will add to the depth and breadth of Snyder's of Hanover's product line. Currently, Snyder's of Hanover produces pretzels under its flagship Snyder's of Hanover brand, but also owns Krunchers! Kettle Chips, O-KE-DOKE popcorn and Jays Potato Chips from a 2007 acquisition of Chicago-based Jays Foods and its production plant in Jeffersonville, Ind., which will continue its operations, as well.

Utz produces a full line of snack foods and employs more than 2,200 workers. Utz is known for its line of potato chips: Regular Utz Potato Chips, Grandma Utz Potato Chips, Kettle Classics Potato Chips, Homestyle Potato Chips, Mystic Potato Chips and Baked Crisps. Utz also produces a natural line of potato chips, as well as pretzels, tortilla chips, multi-grain sunflower chips, cheese curls and popcorn. Utz distributes its brands primarily throughout the East Coast.

Snyder's of Hanover is a privately held company that employs more than 2,250 associates and operated nearly 1,800 distribution routes nationwide. Snyder's of Hanover is headquartered in Hanover, which is the location of its flagship snack food manufacturing and distribution center. This location produces and distributes products to the eastern half of North America, the Caribbean and Europe. The Goodyear, Ariz., plant produces products for the western half of the United States and Pacific Rim countries. The Jeffersonville, Ind., manufacturing facility produces and distributes products primarily for the Midwest and Central United States.

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