Snyder's-Lance to acquire Diamond Foods

by Keith Nunes
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The acquisition of Diamond Foods will expand Snyder-Lance’s snack product portfolio by bringing such brands as Diamond of California branded nuts, Kettle Chips and Pop Secret popcorn into the fold.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Snack maker Snyder’s-Lance, Inc., has entered into an agreement to acquire Diamond Foods for $1.91 billion, which includes the approximately $640 million in Diamond Foods debt. The merger has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies.

If completed, the acquisition of San Francisco-based Diamond Foods will significantly expand Snyder-Lance’s snack product portfolio by bringing such brands as Diamond of California branded nuts, Kettle Chips and Pop Secret popcorn into the fold.

Carl Lee Jr., Snyder's-Lance
Carl E. Lee Jr., president and c.e.o. of Snyder’s-Lance.

“Diamond Foods is a clear industry leader with exceptional brands, and we’re excited to bring together these two highly complementary companies,” said Carl E. Lee Jr., president and chief executive officer of Snyder’s-Lance. “We plan to take full advantage of the combined sales forces of Snyder’s-Lance and Diamond to drive stronger top-line growth than either company could achieve alone.  Additionally, we will have an opportunity to grow internationally with Diamond’s existing European platform, bringing unique products to consumers in that market.

“By combining the resources and expertise of Snyder’s-Lance and Diamond, we expect to see widening profit margins with additional scale and an expanding line of our better-for-you products.  We welcome the Diamond team to the Snyder’s-Lance family and look forward to winning together.”

The combination of the two companies also will expand Snyder’s-Lance’s presence in the better-for-you snacking category as several Diamond products are marketed as clean label or several are Non-GMO Project verified. The combination also is expected to give Snyder’s-Lance a larger presence at retail in the snacks, deli and center-store locations, according to the company.

Brian Driscoll, Diamond Foods
Brian J. Driscoll, president and c.e.o. of Diamond Foods

“The combination of Diamond and Snyder’s-Lance provides the opportunity to create significant value for our stockholders and offers immediate benefits for consumers,” said Brian J. Driscoll, president and c.e.o. of Diamond Foods. “This transaction will create a diversified, branded snacking portfolio with greater operating scale. In addition, we expect the transaction will provide us with greater resources to further develop new product innovation and broaden our geographic reach and route to market across complementary customer bases.”

Subject to customary closing conditions, the acquisition is expected to be completed in early 2016.

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