Published On: Thu, Sep 13th, 2018

Hershey’s to acquire cheese puffs manufacturer Pirate Brands for $420m

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: US chocolate and snacks manufacturer The Hershey Company (Hershey’s) has agreed to acquire Pirate Brands, a manufacturer of cheese puffs, from B&G Foods for $420 million in an all-cash deal.

Pirate Brands, which makes baked, all-natural, trans fat and gluten free snack brands, is the owner of the Pirate’s Booty, Smart Puffs and Original Tings snack brands.

Hershey’s said that the acquisition of the cheese puffs manufacturer is accretive to its financial targets owing to the cheese puffs maker’s robust growth trajectory and solid margin structure.

Pirate’s Booty had seen its retail sales go up more than 8% on a year-over-year basis. According to Hershey’s, the cheese puffs maker is a leading manufacturer of snacks having clean labels that are made without any artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.

Hershey’s acquisition of Pirate Brands : Hershey’s to acquire cheese puffs manufacturer Pirate Brands from B&G Foods

Hershey’s acquisition of Pirate Brands : Hershey’s to acquire cheese puffs manufacturer Pirate Brands from B&G Foods. Photo courtesy of Wayne Langley/

Commenting on Hershey’s acquisition of Pirate Brands, Mary Beth West – Chief Growth Officer, The Hershey Company, said: “Pirate’s Booty is a leading cheese puffs brand loved by moms and kids as a better-for-you treat.

“We expect the full Pirate Brands portfolio to be a great fit for Hershey’s growing Amplify business which is targeted toward consumers who are looking for great-tasting snacks without compromise.”

For B&G Foods, which is a manufacturer of branded shelf-stable and frozen foods, the sale of Pirate Brands will help it repay long-term debt and also in potential acquisitions.

B&G Foods had acquired the cheese puffs manufacturer in 2013 for about $195 million from VMG Partners, Driven Capital Management, founder Robert Ehrlich and others.

Robert C. Cantwell – President and CEO of B&G Foods, commenting on Hershey’s acquisition of Pirate Brands, said: “Pirate Brands is a terrific business that has performed very well for us and we believe it will continue to thrive under the ownership of The Hershey Company.

“The transaction we are announcing today is a great example of our ability to create meaningful shareholder value through accretive M&A by acquiring and investing in on-trend food brands.”

Post acquisition, the cheese puffs manufacturer will operate within Hershey’s better-for-you snacking hub – Amplify, which is based in Austin, . Amplify is engaged in driving growth in the warehouse snacking category with product flavors and varieties such as Skinny Pop, Oatmega and Paqui.

In December 2017, Herschey’s entered into a $1.6 billion deal to acquire Skinny Pop Popcorn manufacturer . The Herschey acquisition of Amplify Snack Brands news story can be read here.

Hershey’s acquisition of Pirate Brands, which will be subject to regulatory approvals and other closing conditions, is anticipated to be completed in Q4 2018.

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