Campbell Soup Will Be The New Owner Of Cape Cod Potato Chips

Stocks climb, lifted by corporate deals and GOP tax plan

In its biggest acquisition ever, Campbell Soup Co. said Monday that it would pay $4.87 billion for snack maker Snyder's-Lance Inc., whose brands also include Kettle and Cape Cod potato chips - a bid for the revenue growth that has eluded the Camden company for years.

Buying Snyder's-Lance will "dramatically transform Campbell, shifting our center of gravity", Campbell CEO Denise Morrison said in a statement. In 2012, it acquired dressing, beverage and vegetable company Bolthouse Farms for $1.55 billion.

The acquisition is expected to close in Q2, 2018. Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank worked with Snyder's-Lance.

Campbell now gets about 31 percent of its sales from snacks and 35 percent from soup, the company said.

Snyder's stock increased by 6.7 percent at Monday's premarket to $49.95 per share.

"We know how to do this", she said of cost-cutting. This represents a premium of 27 percent of the company's closing price on December 13.

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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 sale of Snyder's-Lance means Charlotte is losing the headquarters of another major publicly traded company.

The deal with Campbell Soup comes amid other major changes at the company, which is known for snacks such as Snyder's of Hanover pretzels, Lance peanut butter sandwich crackers and Pop Secret popcorn.

"A lot of those companies don't have, or haven't taken advantage of, all of the nooks and crannies of the tax code", said Jason Pride, director of investment strategy at Glenmede.

Late a year ago, Snyder's-Lance said it was selling Diamond Foods' nut business to a private equity firm, while keeping other Diamond products. Lee Jr. was replaced by Brian Driscoll, the former president of Diamond Foods.

After the deal, snacks will make up almost half of Campbell's sales.

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