On the Street -- Snyder's, Utz Discontinue Merger

November 12/Insurance Business Weekly -- Snyder's of Hanover and Utz Quality Foods announced their decision to discontinue pursuit of the merger between the two snack food companies. After receiving word late last week that the first and second filing had not been cleared by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Utz decided to withdraw from what would likely have been a protracted approval process.

"Although we recently announced our intended merger with Utz Quality Foods, it was contingent upon FTC clearance," noted Carl E. Lee, Jr., president and CEO of Snyder's of Hanover. "While the decision was unexpected, it's best that Snyder's move on to other opportunities that are available to our company."

"While we were excited by the prospect of merging with Snyder's of Hanover, we knew that participating in another FTC request would put a strain on our company and ultimately distract us from what we are here to do every day, which is to provide high-quality snacks to our customers and serve our community," said Michael W. Rice, Utz Quality Foods chairman and chief executive officer. "As we look toward 2010 and beyond, we are committed to staying aggressive in the marketplace and building our product lines."

Mike Warehime, chairman of Snyder's of Hanover, commented, "Both companies have been rigorous in their efforts and will continue to work together in community and industry activities. Snyder's will continue focusing on developing and supporting our national direct store delivery footprint with our brand building programs, national advertising, outstanding quality and superior store level service."

Utz Quality Food president Tom Dempsey commented, "We are proud that Utz remains one of the top employers in the region and continues to be a strong community partner. We look forward to the future with renewed focus on our brands, customer and employees."

From the November 23, 2009, Prepared Foods E-dition