Campbell Soup, Snyder's-Lance shares rise on deal report

Campbell Soup, Snyder's-Lance shares rise on deal report

Campbell Soup, Snyder's-Lance shares rise on deal report

Campbell Soup is acquiring snacks company Snyder's-Lance for $4.87 billion in cash, in the 148-year-old soup company's largest deal to date.

Campbell's acquisition of Snyder's-Lance is the sixth takeover the company has carried out in five years. Snyder's-Lance, the No. 5 USA healthy savory snacks maker, also owns brands such as Eatsmart veggie snacks.

Most of the products made by Snyder's-Lance and Amplify Snack claim to have no artificial ingredients or transfats and come in dairy-free cheese and naturally sweet flavors that are popular among millennials.

That's 27 percent more than Snyder's shares were worth last Wednesday, Dec. 13, the day before media reports about a possible purchase of the snack maker first surfaced. Shares of Campbell are down 17% this year.

Conagra Brands Inc bought Boomchickapop popcorn maker Angie's Artisan Treats in September, while Kellogg bought RXBar protein bar maker Chicago Bar Co in October to create premium positioning for their wares.

She noted snack sales, which represent an $89 billion market in the USA, are growing faster than other grocery store categories. The Camden firm had adjusted earnings before interest and taxes, or EBIT, of $1.49 billion, for fiscal 2017, a 2 percent gain. Snyder's-Lance will become a part of Campbell's Global Biscuits and Snacks division following the transaction's close.

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The deal is waiting for approval from Snyder-Lance's shareholders and regulatory approval.

Meanwhile, the primary benefit to Hershey from Amplify will likely be faster growth, Feeney said. It is unclear if the Campbell Soup deal affects the expansion plans.

Morrison noted Campbell in recent years has conducted extensive cost reductions in its own operations.

Campbell Soup has said it will finance the deal with $6.2 billion of debt.

Credit Suisse and Rothschild acted as financial advisers to Campbell Soup.

It is unclear whether the deal will result in any layoffs at the Snyder's-Lance corporate headquarters in Ballantyne, where the company employs about 1,300.

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