Campbell Soup to buy Charlotte snack maker in $4.9 billion mega deal

"A lot of those companies don't have, or haven't taken advantage of, all of the nooks and crannies of the tax code", said Jason Pride, director of investment strategy at Glenmede.

Campbell Soup Co. plans to buy snack-maker Snyder's Lance in a $6 billion deal meant to produce stronger growth for the Camden-based firm.

Its portfolio includes Snyder's of Hanover, Lance, Kettle Brand, KETTLE chips, Cape Cod, and Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps, and Campbell hopes to access the fast-growing convenience and natural distribution channels.

The $50-per-share cash deal is to be completed by mid-year 2018, pending approval from Snyder's Lance shareholders and government regulators. Goldman Sachs & Co LLC advised Snyder's-Lance and Jenner & Block LLP gave legal counsel. Campbell Soup said the acquisition will help expand its position in the $89 billion snacking market in the U.S.

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

Snyder's-Lance, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, makes pretzels and chips.


Following the purchase, Campbell's projects that snacking will represent 46% of its sales on a pro forma basis next year, while soup products are anticipated to make up 27% of sales.

Camden, New Jersey-based Campbell has reported falling sales as more people avoid processed foods.

The company, which rejected a $23 billion bid from Oreo cookie owner Mondelez International Inc in June last year, said it expects to save $20 million over the next two years through the Amplify deal.

Last April, Carl Lee unexpectedly retired as CEO as the company said it faced "difficult challenges" that weighed on its profitability in the first quarter.

Soup sales have fallen 9% since past year, the company reported in November.

In Snyder's, Campbell is getting is a hot snack food company whose sales have grown almost 12% a year over the past five years. Lee Jr. was replaced by Brian Driscoll, the former president of Diamond Foods. It is unclear if the Campbell Soup deal affects the expansion plans.

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