HANOVER, PA. — Snyder’s of Hanover has announced plans to acquire Utz Quality Foods, Inc.

"We are pleased to announce that two market leaders will be combining forces to create a stronger company that will strengthen our position in the marketplace, serve our retailers and vendors better and continue to give consumers the brands and products that they have loved from both companies," said Carl E. Lee Jr., president and chief executive officer of Snyder’s of Hanover.

The companies said the acquisition will help strengthen the distribution systems of both companies and add depth and breadth to Snyder’s of Hanover’s product line. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year.

"We’ll be playing on the strengths of both companies as we move forward," said Mike Rice, chairman and chief executive officer for Utz Quality Foods. "Our two companies have a lot of similarities — we are both privately held, family owned and operated businesses, and we have tremendous community involvement and support local initiatives for the betterment of our community. The Rice family is excited to be an important part of the new merged entity and to partner with the Snyder’s team to create an innovative company focused on growth."

Snyder’s of Hanover plans to continue operations in all four of the Utz plants in Hanover in addition to the Snyder’s of Hanover’s plant.