Houlihan Lokey's Consumer, Food & Retail Group is pleased to announce that The Snack Factory LLC, a portfolio company of VMG Partners LLC, has signed a definitive agreement to be acquired by Snyder's-Lance Inc. for $340 million in cash. The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval and other customary conditions, is expected to close early in the fourth quarter.
Houlihan Lokey served as the exclusive financial advisor to VMG Partners and Snack Factory and assisted in structuring and negotiating the transaction on their behalf. This deal represents another successful transaction for Houlihan Lokey in the food and beverage industry.
Snack Factory, based in Princeton, N.J., was founded by snack food pioneers Sara and Warren Wilson in 2004. The Wilson's pioneered the first flat pretzel-shaped cracker under the Pretzel Crisps® brand and rapidly gained distribution in the deli-bakery section of grocery stores. The natural, baked product immediately attracted a loyal following, and it quickly became one of the most dynamic snack brands in the U.S. The brand remains committed to providing the highest quality, natural ingredients and exceptional taste that is enjoyed and shared by a growing set of consumers. Snack Factory products are distributed nationally in grocery stores, mass merchandisers, club stores and other channels.
VMG Partners invests in branded consumer products companies in the lower middle market. Since its inception in 2005, VMG Partners has participated meaningfully in the better-for-you food and beverage sector with investments in Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps®, KIND Healthy Snacks, Pirate Brands Pirate's Booty, Mighty Leaf Tea, Sequel Naturals Vega® and Kernel Season's. Other investments within VMG Partners' portfolio include Waggin' Train Pet Treats, sold to Nestlé Purina PetCare Company in 2010, Natural Balance Pet Food, Speck Products, Timbuk2, Colorescience and PLV Studio. VMG Partners' defined set of target industries includes food, beverage, wellness, pet and household products, personal care and lifestyle brands. VMG Partners is headquartered in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Snyder's-Lance, headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., manufactures and markets snack foods throughout the U.S. and internationally. The company's products include pretzels, sandwich crackers, potato chips, cookies, tortilla chips, restaurant style crackers, nuts, and other snacks. Products are sold under the Snyder's of Hanover®, Lance®, Cape Cod®, Krunchers!®, Tom's®, Archway®, Jays®, Stella D'oro®, O-Ke-Doke® and Grande® brand names along with a number of private label and third-party brands. Products are distributed nationally through grocery stores and mass merchandisers, convenience stores, club stores, food service outlets and other channels.
Houlihan Lokey is an international investment bank with expertise in mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, financial restructuring, and valuation. Houlihan Lokey has been advising clients for more than 40 years and now has 14 offices and over 850 employees in Europe, the United States and Asia. The firm serves over 1,000 clients each year, ranging from closely held companies to Global 500 corporations.