Snacks & Candy

Utz Brands to Acquire Vitner’s Snacks

Deal includes distribution assets, expands snack maker’s position in the Midwest
Utz Brands and Vitner’s Snacks

HANOVER, Pa. — Snack maker Utz Brands Inc. has entered into an agreement to acquire the Vitner’s snack brand from Snak-King Corp. for $25 million.

The acquired assets include the intellectual property, including the Vitner’s trademark, and direct-store-delivery (DSD) distribution assets. The transaction represents an acquisition multiple of approximately 5.9x last 12 months ended Sept. 27, 2020, of Vitner’s adjusted EBITDA of $3.4 million.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close on Feb. 8.

“This strategic acquisition will make Utz a more significant competitor in the Chicago area. Combined with our recently announced acquisition of the On the Border tortilla chip, salsa and queso brand, we create a strong brand platform to better serve the primary salty snack channels and continue to expand rapidly in this important growth market,” said Dylan Lissette, CEO of Utz. “This transaction is a continuation of our strategy to successfully build long-term value and share by expanding in major metropolitan areas.”

The acquisition, he said, “strengthens our competitive position and will be a spark for continued growth in the Midwest. We are confident this transaction will drive long-term value creation for our shareholders and help position Utz for continued long-term growth.” 

Vitner’s, established in 1926, is an iconic brand in the Chicago area, and its approximately 55 DSD routes will provide Utz, based in Hanover, Pa., a strengthened foothold in Chicago and the Midwest from which to further grow the presence of its “Power Brands,” which include Utz, On The Border, Zapp’s, Golden Flake, Good Health, Boulder Canyon, Hawaiian Brand and Tortiyahs!, the company said.

Following the acquisition, Vitner’s potato chips, cheese snacks, corn snacks and popcorn will move Utz from the No. 7 position to the No. 4 position among salty snacks in the Chicago market, the fourth largest salty snack market in the U.S. at approximately $688 million in annual retail sales for the 52 weeks ending Nov. 29, 2020, according to IRI data.

Most of Vitner’s products are currently manufactured by Snak King, but Utz plans to transition manufacturing of most of those products to its own manufacturing plants after closing.

“We are thrilled to see the Vitner’s brand, established almost 95 years ago, become part of the Utz Brands, Inc. platform,” said Barry Levin, CEO of Los Angeles-based Snak King, which acquired the brand in 2012. “Utz will be able to leverage its world-class family of brands and expertise in DSD operations to help Vitner’s continue to serve the Chicago market.”

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