Hershey Co. just sealed a $1.6bn deal to acquire the maker of Skinny Pop popcorn and Tyrrells crisps.
The deal comes as Hershey doubles down on its efforts to move beyond its chocolate heritage towards healthier snack offerings.
The acquisition of Amplify Snack Brands values the company’s shares at about $921mn and Hershey’s plans to fund the transaction with cash on hand and new debt.
“The acquisition of Amplify and its product portfolio is an important step in our journey to becoming an innovative snacking powerhouse as together it will enable us to bring scale and category management capabilities to a key sub-segment of the warehouse snack aisle,” said Hershey chief executive, Michele Buck.
The Hershey-Amplify deal highlights changing consumer habits as more people are opting for more natural foods and ingredients, prompting food and beverage companies to invest in more better-for-you snacks.
Hershey said that the deal, which equates to US$12 per share for Amplify’s stock, would close in the first quarter.
The buy out follows many other acquisitions in the sector. Mars purchased a minority stake in snack company, Kind Bar, last month and Kellogg Co. also signing a $600m deal for protein bar maker RXBAR in October.
Hershey, the company behind Kisses and Reese’s peanut butter cups, also rejected a takeover from Oreo-maker Mondelez earlier this year.