Utz Quality Foods, LLC (“Utz” or the “Company”), a U.S. manufacturer of branded salty snacks, and Collier Creek Holdings (“Collier Creek”) (NYSE: CCH, CCH.U, CCH WS), a special purpose acquisition company, have announced that they have completed their business combination. The transaction has been unanimously approved by the board of directors of Collier Creek and was approved at a special meeting of Collier Creek shareholders on August 27, 2020. Per the terms of the business combination agreement, Collier Creek and Utz have combined to form Utz Brands, Inc. (“Utz Brands”), a leading pure-play snack food platform in the U.S. The common stock of Utz Brands will trade under the ticker symbol “UTZ” on the New York Stock Exchange beginning August 31, 2020.
Founded in 1921, Utz has a strong heritage in the salty snack industry in the U.S. and more than 40 years of continued growth. The Company’s iconic portfolio of authentic, craft, and better-for-you brands includes Utz, Zapp’s, Golden Flake, Good Health, Boulder Canyon, Hawaiian Brand, and TORTIYAHS!, among others . The Company operates 14 manufacturing facilities nationwide with a broad range of capabilities and produces a full line of potato chips, pretzels, cheese snacks, veggie snacks, pork skins, pub / party mixes, tortilla chips and other snacks, including innovative better-for-you snacking options. Utz expects to generate net sales of $932 million in 2020.
Collier Creek was co-founded by Chinh Chu, Roger Deromedi, and Jason Giordano, who bring more than 80 years of combined investing and operating experience, with a focus on the consumer goods sector. Mr. Deromedi, who had a long and successful tenure as chairman of Pinnacle Foods and, prior to that, as CEO of Kraft Foods, will becomechairman of Utz Brands. Utz Brands’ board of directors will be composed of a majority of independent directors under the applicable listing rules of the New York Stock Exchange.
Dylan Lissette, who has served as Utz’s CEO since 2013 and has worked at the Company for almost 25 years, will continue to lead the business along with the existing management team. Utz Brands will remain headquartered in Hanover, Pennsylvania.
Proceeds from the transaction were used primarily to repay existing borrowings at Utz. The Rice and Lissette family, the founding family and owners of Utz, retained more than 90 percent of its existing equity stake, which represents more than 50 percent ownership in Utz Brands following completion of the transaction.
“The completion of our business combination with Collier Creek and the initiation of Utz as a public company, marks a significant milestone and will fuel our next century of growth after nearly 100 years as a family-owned business,” said Mr. Lissette. “We have spent the last 10 years building Utz into a national brand and platform through rapid geographic and brand portfolio expansion driven by strategic acquisitions and organic growth. Our partnership with Roger and the Collier Creek team positions us to further accelerate our growth as a public company and achieve our goal of being the fastest-growing, pure-play branded snack company of scale.”
Mr. Lissette continued: “Leveraging our proven track record of profitable growth and the Collier Creek team’s expertise in driving value creation in food platform companies, we have multiple ways to win in the growing salty snack category. Our growth strategy is focused on driving organic sales growth through increased marketing, new products and geographic expansion; executing significant margin enhancement opportunities; reinvesting productivity gains into the business to unlock topline growth; and continuing to build the Utz platform with strategic acquisitions.”
“Our partnership with Utz brings together the financial and human capital of Collier Creek with an exceptional 100-year-old company that has significant competitive advantages and runway for profitable growth,” said Mr. Deromedi. “Utz is an iconic company with a strong portfolio of beloved snack brands, growing positions in the salty snack category, and a competitively advantaged manufacturing and distribution network. We are excited to partner with Dylan and the talented Utz management team to execute our proven operating playbook and drive value for all of our stakeholders.”
Mr. Chu and Mr. Giordano added: “We are excited to complete this transaction, which delivers attractive value to our shareholders, and look forward to partnering with management to drive future growth and value creation at Utz.”
Key transaction terms
At the closing of the transaction, Collier Creek was domesticated as a Delaware corporation and the name of Collier Creek has been changed to Utz Brands, Inc. (NYSE: UTZ).
A more detailed description of the transaction terms will be included in a current report on Form 8-K to be filed by Utz Brands with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”).
Goldman Sachs and Sageworth are acting as financial advisors to Utz. Citigroup, Credit Suisse, and BofA Securities are acting as capital markets advisors to Collier Creek. Citigroup and Credit Suisse are acting as lead financial advisors with BofA Securities and Nomura also serving as financial advisors to Collier Creek. Cozen O’Connor is acting as legal counsel to Utz and Kirkland & Ellis LLP is acting as legal counsel to Collier Creek.