Major US snack foods company Snyder’s-Lance, Inc. has beaten Kellogg’s to the post after it made a deal worth US$1.9 billion to buy US snack maker Diamond Foods. Inc. The transaction expands Snyder’s-Lance’s footprint in “better-for-you” snacking at a time when consumers are increasingly seeking foods containing more natural ingredients and fewer artificial additives. It will also provide Snyder’s-Lance with a platform for growth in the UK and across Europe.

The move comes as financial press reports suggested Kellogg’s was in late-stage talks with Diamond Foods to acquire the company for over US $1.5 billion. Kellogg’s has flagged more acquisitions in the growing global snack foods market as part of their strategy.

Snyder’s-Lance, Inc. and Diamond Foods, Inc. announced on Thursday 28 October that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Snyder’s-Lance will acquire all outstanding shares of Diamond Foods in a cash and stock merger transaction for approximately $1.91 billion, including the assumption of approximately $640 million of indebtedness.

Diamond Foods stockholders will own approximately 26% of the combined company based on today’s outstanding share counts. Diamond recently reported that full year 2015 net sales achieved flat growth to US$864.2 million.

Diamond Foods is a leading snack food company with five brands including Kettle Brand® potato chips, KETTLE® Chips, Pop Secret® popcorn, Emerald® snack nuts, and Diamond of California® culinary nuts. Each Diamond Foods brand brings unique strengths that fit with Snyder’s-Lance’s strategic plan while increasing the company’s annualized net revenue to approximately $2.6 billion.

Snyder’s-Lance’s products include pretzels, sandwich crackers, pretzel crackers, potato chips, cookies, tortilla chips, restaurant style crackers, nuts and other snacks.

“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 CEO of Snyder’s-Lance.

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