On the Street -- Snyder's to Buy Utz

October 22/Hanover, Pa./PRNewswire -- Carl E. Lee Jr., president and chief executive officer of Snyder's of Hanover, announced the company's intention to acquire Utz Quality Foods Inc., pending clearance from the Federal Trade Commission.

"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 and products that they have loved from both companies," said Lee.

Snyder's of Hanover's chairman of the board, Mike Warehime, added that "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."

"We'll be playing on the strengths of both companies as we move forward," said Mike Rice, Utz Quality Foods chairman and chief executive officer. "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 of directors.

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."

Tom Dempsey, president, Utz Quality Foods Inc. agreed, stating that "we could not have found a better partner in protecting and expanding the Utz family of brands than Snyder's of Hanover. We are confident that this merger will be good for our brands, our customers, our vendors and all of the Utz employees. We are excited that we'll be able to join forces to make both companies stronger and to have a continued positive impact and presence in the community."

Dylan Lissette, executive vice president, Sales and Marketing, Utz Quality Foods Inc. commented that "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."

In anticipation of closing the deal, Mike Warehime added that "Snyder's of Hanover is happy to be able to keep Utz as a Hanover-based brand."

"What's really important in this acquisition," noted Lee, "is that we will continue to serve our customers and consumers well, that our employees will continue to have good jobs and benefits, that the community will thrive from our growth and that, as our brands become stronger, so will all parties involved."

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.

As is typical for a transaction of this size, the acquisition is subject to review and clearance by the Federal Trade Commission. 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.

From the October 26, 2009, Prepared Foods E-dition