Snyder’s-Lance sells Diamond of California; invests in Charlotte

Lance, which merged with Snyder's in 2010, has been producing sandwich crackers in Charlotte for more than a century. Pic: ©iStock/peeravit18

Snyder’s-Lance is selling the nut business of Diamond Foods to private equity firm Blue Road Capital.

It comes less than a year after Snyder’s-Lance acquired Diamond Foods in February 2016 for $1.27bn.

Specific terms of the nut business (Diamond of California) transaction have not been disclosed. The deal is expected to be finalized by the end of 2016.

Snyder’s-Lance CEO, Carl Lee said the sale will allow the snack maker to focus its resources on growing its core brands. This includes a $38m investment over the next three years to expand its Charlotte headquarters and production facility.

Snyder’s is the second largest maker of salty snacks in the US and known for products like Hanover’s pretzels and Lance peanut butter sandwich crackers.

Better-for both parties

The company said the addition of Diamond to its portfolio would expand its selection of “better-for-you” offerings. Diamond’s brands include Kettle potato chips, Pop Secret popcorn and Emerald almonds.

The culinary nut business posted net revenues of $42.9m for Snyder’s in Q3 2016.

According to Lee, the transition will be constructive for both parties, and reflects the snack maker’s pledge to improve capital efficiency.

Given the timing of the transaction, he claimed the sale is not expected to impact the company's full-year 2016 outlook for net revenue of $2.29bn to $2.31bn.

The company has also announced its plans to plough capital into expanding its South Boulevard manufacturing facility as well as its Ballantyne offices, expecting to add 130 new jobs over the next five years.

The North Carolina plant is particularly noted for producing Lance sandwich crackers for over 100 years.

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