Snyder’s-Lance, Inc., Charlotte, NC, and Diamond Foods Inc., San Francisco, 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. The agreement has been approved by both companies’ boards of directors.

The strategic combination of Snyder's-Lance and Diamond Foods creates an innovative, highly complementary and diversified portfolio of branded products. 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.

The transaction also expands Snyder's-Lance's footprint in better-for-you snacking and increases the company's existing natural food channel presence. Snyder's-Lance expects the transaction will expand and strengthen its Direct Store Delivery ("DSD") network in the U.S. and provide Snyder's-Lance with a platform for growth in the United Kingdom and across Europe.

“Diamond Foods is a clear industry leader with exceptional brands, and we're excited to bring together these two highly complementary companies," says Carl E. Lee Jr., president and CEO of Snyder's-Lance. “Diamond has excelled in delivering exceptional product quality and innovation across their entire product portfolio, with products and ideas that work perfectly alongside our Snyder's-Lance brands. We plan to take full advantage of the combined sales forces of Snyder's-Lance and Diamond to drive stronger top line growth than either company could achieve alone. Additionally, we will have an opportunity to grow internationally with Diamond's existing European platform, bringing unique products to consumers in that market. By combining the resources and expertise of Snyder's-Lance and Diamond, we expect to see widening profit margins with additional scale and an expanding line of our better-for-you products. We welcome the Diamond team to the Snyder's-Lance family and look forward to winning together.”

“The combination of Diamond and Snyder's-Lance provides the opportunity to create significant value for our stockholders and offers immediate benefits for consumers," says Brian J. Driscoll, president and CEO of Diamond Foods. “This transaction will create a diversified, branded snacking portfolio with greater operating scale. In addition, we expect the transaction will provide us with greater resources to further develop new product innovation and broaden our geographic reach and route to market across complementary customer bases. We are excited about the opportunities this combination will create for consumers and our stockholders.”

The transaction is expected to close in early 2016, subject to stockholder and regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.