HANOVER, PA. — Utz Brands, Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire certain assets related to the Vitner’s snack brand from Snak-King Corp. for a total purchase price of $25 million. The transaction includes the intellectual property, including the Vitner’s trademark, and direct-store delivery distribution assets related to Vitner’s branded products. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close on Feb. 8.
Established in 1926, Vitner’s is a brand of potato chips, popcorn, corn chips, pork rinds and cheese snacks distributed throughout the Chicago area. The acquisition is expected to strengthen Utz Brands’ presence in Chicago and the Midwest. Most of Vitner’s products are manufactured by Snak King, but Utz plans to transition manufacturing of most of the products to its own facilities following completion of the transaction.
“This strategic acquisition will make Utz a more significant competitor in the Chicago area,” said Dylan Lissette, chief executive officer of Utz. “Combined with our recently announced acquisition of the On the Border tortilla chip, salsa and queso brand, we create a strong brand platform to better serve the primary salty snack channels and continue to expand rapidly in this important growth market. This transaction is a continuation of our strategy to successfully build long-term value and share by expanding in major metropolitan areas, like we did in New York City in 1994, Boston in 2004, Pittsburgh in 2006 and Atlanta in 2011.
“This acquisition strengthens our competitive position and will be a spark for continued growth in the Midwest. We are confident this transaction will drive long-term value creation for our shareholders and help position Utz for continued long-term growth.”
Chicago represents the fourth largest salty snack market in the United States with approximately $688 million in annual retail sales, growing approximately 9% in the 52 weeks ended Nov. 29, 2020, according to Information Resources Inc. Utz plans to leverage Vitner’s 55 DSD routes to grow its stable of brands in the grocery, drug and up-and-down street channels of the Chicago metropolitan and Northwest Indiana areas. Utz brands include On the Border, Zapp’s, Golden Flake, Good Health, Boulder Canyon, Hawaiian Brand, Tortiyahs! and Utz.
Vitner’s generated net sales of $25 million in the 12 months ended Sept. 27, 2020. The purchase price represents a multiple of approximately 5.9x the brand’s pro forma adjusted EBITDA of $3.4 million assuming approximately $5 million in net present value from expected tax assets resulting from the transaction. Utz expects the transaction to be accretive to earnings in 2021 and beyond.
“We are thrilled to see the Vitner’s brand, established almost 95 years ago, become part of the Utz Brands, Inc. platform,” said Barry Levin, CEO of Snak King. “Utz will be able to leverage its world-class family of brands and expertise in DSD operations to help Vitner’s continue to serve the Chicago market.”