Campbell buys Snyder’s-Lance for $4.9 billion

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Campbell buys Snyder’s-Lance for $4.9 billion

By Mike Troy - 12/18/2017

Campbell Soup Company’s acquisitive ways continue with its latest deal involving Snyder’s-Lance and a push into the snack category and faster growth retail channels.

Campell’s said it would spend nearly $4.9 billion to acquire Snyder’s-Lance in an all cash deal that dramatically changes the composition of Campbell’s product portfolio. The deal, the sixth in the past five years and the largest ever for Campbell, gives the company a stronger position in the $89 billion snack category where it has a limited presence. Campbell agreed to pay $50 a share for Snyder’s-Lance, a 27% premium to the closing price on Dec. 13, the last trading day prior media reports of a possible deal caused Snyder’s-Lance shares to spike.

“The acquisition of Snyder’s-Lance will accelerate Campbell’s strategy and is in line with our Purpose, ‘real food that matters for life’s moments.’ It will provide our consumers with an even greater variety of better-for-you snacks,” said Denise Morrison, Campbell’s President and CEO.

Snyder's-Lance, itself the result of a 2010 merger between Lance and Snyder’s of Hanover, is known for brands such as Snyder's of Hanover, Lance, Kettle, Cape Cod, Snack Factory, Pop Secret, Emerald, Late July, Krunchers!, Tom's, Archway, Jays, Stella D'oro, Eatsmart, O-Ke-Doke and Metcalfe's skinny.

“The combination of Snyder’s-Lance brands with Pepperidge Farm, Arnott’s and Kelsen will create a diversified snacking leader, drive sales growth and create value for shareholders. This acquisition will dramatically transform Campbell, shifting our center of gravity and further diversifying our portfolio into the faster-growing snacking category.”

With the addition of Snyder’s-Lance $2.2 billion in annual sales for the 12 month period ended Sept. 30, 2017, Campbell’s annual sales will surpass $10 billion. Campbell's baked snacks product portfolio generated approximately $2.5 billion in net sales in fiscal 2017. With the addition of Snyder’s-Lance’s complementary portfolio, snacking would represent approximately 46% of Campbell’s annual net sales compared to 31% previously. Campbell’s soup portfolio, including the recent acquisition of Pacific Foods, would represent approximately 27% the company’s annual net sales following the Snyder’s-Lance acquisition.

Snyder’s-Lance will become part of Campbell’s Global Biscuits and Snacks division, which includes the company’s Pepperidge Farm, Arnott’s and Kelsen businesses, and the simple meals and shelf-stable beverages business in Australia, Asia Pacific and Latin America. The division is led by Luca Mignini, President. The division will combine Snyder’s-Lance’s portfolio with Campbell’s snacking brands including Goldfish crackers, Tim Tam biscuits, Milano cookies and Kjeldsens butter cookies.

"Campbell’s expertise in brand-building, (research and development), and supply chain and operations, coupled with Snyder’s-Lance’s well-known portfolio, distribution system and history of strong sales growth, will allow us to create a differentiated, branded snacking business with greater scale,” Mignini said. “The combined portfolio will be even more relevant to consumers who are increasingly seeking better-for-you snacks.”

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Snyder’s-Lance has approximately 6,000 employees and operates 13 manufacturing centers throughout the United States and United Kingdom.

This is Campbell’s sixth acquisition in five years. The company acquired Bolthouse Farms in August 2012, organic baby food company Plum in June 2013, biscuit company Kelsen in August 2013, fresh salsa and hummus maker Garden Fresh Gourmet in June 2015, and organic broth and soup producer Pacific Foods in December 2017.

In addition to Campbell’s, the company’s other notable brands include Pepperidge Farm, Bolthouse Farms, Arnott’s, V8, Swanson, Pace, Prego, Plum, Royal Dansk, Kjeldsens, Garden Fresh Gourmet and Pacific Foods.