Campbell's Is Buying Snyder's

Posted December 19, 2017

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

In companies, Campbell Soup Company (NYSE:CPB) shares added 0.54% to US$49.86 as it emerged it will buy pretzel maker Snyder's-Lance Inc (NASDAQ:LNCE) for US$50 a share, or US$4.87bn. Besides its canned soups, it makes Goldfish crackers, V8 juices and Prego pasta sauces. Its most well-known brands include Snyder's of Hanover, Kettle Brand and Pop Secret, as well as Cape Cod Potato Chips.

The deal, Campbell's sixth in the last five years, stands in sharp contrast to most of its other recent acquisitions. But snacks now account for just a third of Campbell's sales.

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In a joint statement Snyder's President and CEO Brian Driscoll said: "Following a thorough review process of strategic options, we believe this transaction maximizes value for our shareholders through an immediate and certain cash premium".

Since taking over as Campbell Soup's chief executive in 2011, Denise Morrison has moved the Camden company away from soup and other slow-growing items sold in the center aisles of traditional supermarkets.

After the deal, snacks will make up almost half of Campbell's sales. Amplify went public in August 2015 at $18 a share but had fallen steadily for more than a year.

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The deal with the Pretzel owner is the soup company's biggest deal in its 148-year history. Campbell's share of the US soup market has dropped seven percentage points over the last five years to 42%, according to research firm Euromonitor. That number will climb to roughly 46 percent of Campbell's annual net sales thanks to the acquisition. That has far outpaced the rest of the $89 billion USA snack industry. Earlier this month, the company finalised its acquisition of Pacific Food, which totalled$700 million.

US stocks climbed again Monday and set more records as investors grew more certain Republicans will pass their tax plan this week. Campbell ticked up 1%.

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