Lance to acquire Stella D'oro brand

by Eric Schroeder
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Lance, Inc. on Sept. 8 announced it has entered into an agreement with Stella D’oro Biscuit Co., Inc. to acquire the Stella D'oro brand as well as certain manufacturing equipment and inventory. As part of the agreement, Lance said it will manufacture the Stella D’oro products in its Ashland, Ohio, bakery. Terms of the transaction, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter, were not disclosed.

"We are excited about the opportunity to add the Stella D’oro brand to our growing portfolio of niche snack food brands," said David V. Singer, president and chief executive officer at Lance. "We believe that the additional resources that can be provided under the Lance umbrella will help this iconic brand achieve renewed growth. The Stella D’oro brand will make us a more valuable partner with our customers and leverage our existing capabilities to support our trend of profitable growth."

Established in 1932, Bronx, N.Y.-based Stella D’oro produces shelf stable cookies, breakfast treats, breadsticks and biscotti that are sold in grocery stores and mass merchants throughout the United States, but primarily in the Northeast and Southeast.

In selling the Stella D’oro brand, Stella D’oro Biscuit Co. brings to a close a lengthy dispute with union workers at the Bronx plant. The facility’s workers went on strike in August 2008 and did not return to work until July 7, 2009. On July 6, Stella D’oro announced plans to close its Bronx bakery operations in October, saying it had continued to lose money, including more than $3 million in operating losses since 2006 primarily due to its uncompetitive labor cost structure.

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