US manufacturer of branded salty snacks Utz Quality Foods has announced that it will merge with investment company Collier Creek Holdings to form Utz Brands Inc.
The combination will see both businesses combine to create a leading pure-play snack food platform in the US, trading under ‘UTZ’ on the New York Stock Exchange upon closing the transaction in Q3 2020.
Founded in 1921, the family-owned business will soon celebrate its 100th year with a transaction that will introduce Utz as a publicly listed company, with an anticipated initial enterprise value of approximately $1.56 billion.
Utz’s portfolio includes brands such as Zapp’s, Golden Flake, Good Health and Boulder Canyon, to name a few.
The company operates 14 manufacturing facilities nationwide in order to produce a range of snacks, including potato chips, pretzels, cheese snacks, veggie snacks, pork skins, pub/party mix, and better-for-you options.
Goldman Sachs and Sageworth are acting as financial advisors to Utz, while Citigroup and Credit Suisse are acting as financial advisors on behalf of Collier Creek.
The Rice and Lissette family, owners of Utz, will retain more than 90% of their existing equity stake, which will represent more than 50% ownership in Utz Brands upon completion of the transaction.
“As we approach our 100-year anniversary, we are excited to take this important step forward to position Utz for its next century of growth,” said Lissette.
“This transaction enables Utz to continue its long-term growth plans and provides greater access to capital to fund organic and inorganic growth. We remain deeply committed to Utz’s continued success.”
He continued: “We look forward to partnering with Roger and the seasoned team at Collier Creek as we leverage their experience in driving value creation in food platform companies.
“As a public company, I am confident that Utz will continue to grow its importance within the salty snack industry, bringing more of our brands to an ever-greater consumer audience across the US.”
Roger Deromedi, who co-founded Collier Creek alongside Chinh Chu and Jason Giordano will become chairman of Utz Brands, said: “Utz Brands is a phenomenal business combination that meets all of the criteria we established when we launched Collier Creek.
“It’s a leading platform in the attractive and growing salty snack category, with significant competitive advantages and multiple opportunities to accelerate growth and drive value creation.
“We are confident that by supporting Dylan and the talented management team with our proven operating playbook, Utz can become the fastest-growing pure-play branded snack platform of scale in the US,” he said. “We look forward to working with the Utz team in the years ahead.”
Giordano added: “We look forward to working closely with Utz’s management to unlock meaningful value for all stakeholders by investing in innovation and marketing to delight consumers, expanding distribution into new retailers and geographies, broadening the Utz product offering, driving operational efficiencies, and capitalising on strategic acquisition opportunities that further enhance Utz’s unique platform and brand portfolio.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020