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

19 December 2017

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

In another major snack company acquisition, Campbell Soup Co.is gobbling up Snyder's-Lance Inc. for $4.87 billion. Amplify's foods include Skinny Pop popcorn, Tyrrells potato chips and Oatmega protein bars.

"This acquisition will dramatically transform Campbell, shifting our center of gravity and further diversifying our portfolio into the faster-growing snacking category", CEO Denise Morrison said in a statement Monday morning.

Campbell's snack business now includes Pepperidge Farm products, as well as the Australian-based Arnott's brand. Most of its other holdings are soup and sauce brands. Previous year it joined the ballooning number of consumer packaged giants to launch a venture unit in hopes of keeping closer tabs on innovation. Amplify went public in August 2015 at $18 a share but had fallen steadily for more than a year.

The deal - the largest in the soup company's 148-year history - was announced December 18. A spat with Walmart over pricing and shelf space contributed to the drop.

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Campbell's acquisition of Snyder's-Lance is the sixth takeover the company has carried out in five years. Pepperidge Farm sales were up 3% last quarter during an otherwise lackluster summer.

Late previous year, Snyder's-Lance said it was selling Diamond Foods' nut business to a private equity firm, while keeping other Diamond products.

Campbell is paying a 27% premium on Snyder's-Lance's stock price and is taking on more than $6 billion in debt to finance the purchase.

Its traditional products - packaged soup, V8 drink and Pepperidge Farm snacks - still make up roughly 87 percent of its annual sales. Earlier this month, it acquired Pacific Foods for $700 million.

The Wall Street wagon just keeps on rolling on with United States benchmarks reaching new highs at the open on Monday after a higher close on Friday as the passing of the U.S. tax reform bill is now in sight. Campbell ticked up 1%.