Campbell Soup Company agrees to acquire Snyder's-Lance

Campbell Soup Company agrees to acquire Snyder's-Lance

Both companies said Friday they don't comment on rumors.

The Campbell Soup Company is betting on snacks after the Camden, NJ food firm entered into a definitive agreement to acquire snack manufacturing firm Snyder's-Lance for $4.87 billion, a joint press release announced Monday.

Campbell's is buying snack maker Snyder's-Lance.

Campbell Soup says the acquisition of Snyder's-Lance will accelerate its access to quickly growing avenues for distributing its goods, including convenience stores. The final acquisition is expected to close by the second quarter of 2018. News of the deal sent shares of Snyder's-Lance up 5.3 percent to $46.79 in early trading. Goldman Sachs & Co LLC advised Snyder's-Lance and Jenner & Block LLP gave legal counsel.

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

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"Following a thorough review process of strategic options, we believe this transaction maximizes value for our shareholders through an immediate and certain cash premium".

In addition to snacks, Campbell's also wants to expand fresh foods unit, which accounts for 12% of sales.

Snyder's-Lance is the product of the 2010 merger of Pennsylvania-based Snyder's of Hanover and Charlotte-based Lance. In 2012, it acquired dressing, beverage and vegetable company Bolthouse Farms for $1.55 billion. Cloud services provider Akamai Technologies leaped after Elliott Management, led by activist investor Paul Singer, disclosed a 6.5 percent stake in the company and said it wants to discuss changes to the company's business and other areas. Lee Jr. was replaced by Brian Driscoll, the former president of Diamond Foods.

Including net debt and a $76 million make-whole payment, the deal is valued at $1.6 billion, the companies said in a news release.

The deal with the Pretzel owner is the soup company's biggest deal in its 148-year history. But he cautions that the deal sets Hershey up for competition with PepsiCo Inc's Frito-Lay and Campbell's Pepperidge.

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