Snyder's-Lance Inc., Charlotte, N.C., has signed definitive agreement to acquire Baptista's Bakery Inc., a Franklin, Wis.-based producer of baked snack foods and better-for-you snacks, including the Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps brand. Under the transaction terms, Snyder's-Lance will acquire 100% of Baptista's Bakery and its manufacturing facility. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of this year.

“Baptista's is a leader in highly differentiated snacks, and we're excited to be working with their talented, creative team” says Carl E. Lee Jr., president and CEO of Snyder's-Lance. “Baptista's is a company that has excelled in providing exceptional product quality and innovation, while commercializing production in ways that are effective and unique. The team at Baptista's is strong and dedicated, with many new product ideas, which will be an excellent pairing for our brands. Our culture and values fit well with those of Baptista's, which are focused on a dedication to employees and to the community.

“We are committed to retaining and growing the Franklin, Wis., facility, which is strategically well-positioned within our network. By combining the resources and expertise of Baptista's with the scale of Snyder's-Lance, we will accelerate our ability to deliver exciting, on-trend snacks and product innovation, while expanding our 'better-for-you' products and gaining needed capacity for our growing Snyder's of Hanover pretzels. We welcome the Baptista's team to the Snyder's-Lance family and look forward to winning together!"

"I am so proud of everyone at Baptista's and am very grateful for the outstanding success we have had these past 15 years," says Nan Gardetto, CEO and founder of Baptista's. "Our success is a direct result of the dedicated, talented group of people who make up our employee team. Foremost in my mind, as I entered into conversations that led to this transaction, was my desire to find an organization that would be equally committed to our people and our community. Certainly, we believe we have found an excellent steward for our business in Snyder's-Lance. The combination of Baptista's quality and product innovation teamed with the marketing, sales and distribution capabilities of Snyder's-Lance means our best accomplishments are yet to come. I am personally excited for our company's future and the success that lies ahead."

In addition to acquiring Baptista’s Bakery, Snyder’s-Lance has sold its Private Brands, along with two manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and Canada, to Shearer's Foods, LLC, a private-label snack manufacturer based in Massillon, Ohio, for $430 million. The transaction is also expected to close in the 2014 second quarter.

"This transaction is an important step forward for Snyder's-Lance as we dedicate our attention to our branded portfolio," says Lee. “Over the past several years, we have been building operational and branded capabilities that provide an exceptional platform for accelerating growth. Private Brands has performed well over that time and is now in a position where a new, private brands centric owner can build on this momentum and take it to new levels.

“Looking forward for Snyder's-Lance, we believe focusing more completely on our branded products will create better long-term shareholder value as we grow organically through product innovation and the acquisition of additional core brands. We'll continue to leverage our strong national DSD (direct store delivery) network, fast-growing direct sales team, excellent marketing and brand building as well as our strong balance sheet.

“I want to especially thank all of our associates who have worked to make our Private Brands successful for many years, and wish everyone the greatest of success in the future. The operating philosophies of Shearer's are very similar to Snyder's-Lance, and we feel we have found a great home with excellent potential for our people."

Source: Snyder's-Lance, PR Newswire