Lance, Snyder’s merger complete

by Eric Schroeder
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Lance, Inc. and Snyder's of Hanover, Inc. have completed their merger, less than six months after first announcing the transaction on July 22. In merging, the deal brings together Snyder’s, a manufacturer of pretzels and specialty snacks that traces its roots to 1909, with Lance, a U.S. snack food maker that features sandwich crackers, potato chips, and cookies and was founded in 1913.

The combined company will have a portfolio of snack food brands that includes Snyder’s of Hanover, Lance, Cape Cod, Grande, Tom’s, Jays, O-Ke-Doke, Stella D’oro, Krunchers!, Archway, Naturals as well as Lance private brands. Products will include pretzels, sandwich crackers, kettle chips, potato chips, cookies, tortilla chips and nuts.

The new company, named Snyder’s-Lance, Inc., will maintain the stock ticker symbol “LNCE” with shares traded on the NASDAQ exchange.

“We are extremely pleased with the opportunity to combine two leading snack food companies in such a strategically compelling merger,” said David V. Singer, chief executive officer of the combined company. “Combining our strengths in salty, cracker and cookie snacks creates the opportunity for scale in a number of competitive high volume categories. We will immediately begin the work of bringing our two organizations together in ways that maximize our potential growth and drive lasting value for stockholder, customers, business partners and our employees.”

Carl E. Lee Jr., president and chief operating officer of the combined company commented, “This historic transaction brings together many years of excellence in salty snacks and baking that will create a dynamic and competitive organization able to deliver superior customer service while continuing to be an important part to the communities in which we operate. We expect to drive our business through the strength of nationwide distribution, national advertising, and an excellent portfolio of products and capabilities that consumers prefer. We look forward to our collective success and the exciting times that are to come.”

The management structure and board composition of the combined company will include Michael A. Warehime, current chairman of Snyder’s, will serve as chairman of the board of the combined company, and W. J. Prezzano, current chairman of Lance, will serve as lead independent director. Rick D. Puckett, current executive vice-president and chief financial officer of Lance, will become executive vice-president and c.f.o. of the combined company.

Snyder’s-Lance will have a 14 member board drawn from the existing boards of both companies. It will be comprised of seven directors of the current Lance board and seven directors of the current Snyder’s board. The company will have its corporate headquarters in Charlotte, and additional headquarters in Hanover, Pa., where certain key leaders and functions will continue to be located.

The merger was approved by Snyder’s shareholders on Dec. 3 and the Lance shareholders on Dec. 2.

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