The Hershey Company announced it has entered into an agreement with B&G Foods, Inc. to buy its Pirate Brands business, including the Pirate’s Booty, Smart Puffs and Original Tings brands, for approximately $420 million in cash.
The Pirate Brands business will operate as a part of the Hershey Amplify snacking unit in Austin, Texas, according to the company.
“Pirate’s Booty is a leading cheese puffs brand loved by moms and kids as a better-for-you treat,” said Mary Beth West, Chief Growth Officer, The Hershey Company. “We expect the full Pirate Brands portfolio to be a great fit for Hershey’s growing Amplify business which is targeted toward consumers who are looking for great-tasting snacks without compromise.”
Pirate’s Booty is a fast-growing brand in the more than $2.5B cheese puffs category, with retail sales up over 8% on a year-over-year basis, and a market leader for consumers seeking snacks with clean labels and no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.
“Pirate Brands is a terrific business that has performed very well for us and we believe it will continue to thrive under the ownership of The Hershey Company,” stated Robert C. Cantwell, President and Chief Executive Officer of B&G Foods.
“The transaction we are announcing today is a great example of our ability to create meaningful shareholder value through accretive M&A by acquiring and investing in on-trend food brands. We acquired Pirate Brands in 2013 for approximately $195 million and thanks to the passion, creativity and hard work of our dedicated team of employees, we have more than doubled the value of the business in five short years, creating tremendous value for our shareholders.”
Mr. Cantwell continued, “One of my biggest goals as CEO has been to ensure that B&G Foods remains ready and able to continue our acquisition strategy. By selling Pirate Brands at a very attractive multiple and using the net proceeds to reduce long-term debt, we will significantly reduce our leverage, which positions us very well for future acquisitions.”
B&G Foods intends to use the net proceeds from the sale for the repayment of long-term debt and possible acquisitions. B&G Foods expects the sale to close in the fourth quarter of 2018, subject to regulatory approval and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.