USA – Utz Quality Foods, a US manufacturer of branded salty snacks, and special purpose acquisition company, Collier Creek Holdings has entered into a merger agreement to combine their business and form a new entity under the name Utz Brands, Inc.
The transaction will also introduces Utz Brands as publicly listed company after nearly 100 years as family-owned business. Utz Brands plans to list the on the New York Stock Exchange with an anticipated initial enterprise value of approximately US$1.56 billion.
The combined company is also expected to be one of the a leading pure-play snack food platform in the US leveraging Utz Quality Foods’ legacy in the US salty snack market.
Founded in 1921, Utz has grown to become the largest family-owned salty snack company in the US. The company boasts of an iconic portfolio of craft and better-for-you brands including Utz, Zapp’s, Golden Flake, Good Health, and Boulder Canyon, among others.
Utz operates 14 manufacturing facilities nationwide with a broad range of capabilities, producing a full line of potato chips, pretzels, cheese snacks, veggie snacks, pork skins, pub / party mix, and other snacks, including better-for-you snacking options.
If the transaction is approved, the combined business is also poised to benefit from Collier Creek’s prolific investors; 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.
Deromedi, who had a long and successful tenure as Chairman of Pinnacle Foods and as CEO of Kraft Foods, will become Chairman of Utz Brands.
The company’s further noted that 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.
Post-merger, Utz Brands will remain headquartered in Hanover, Pennsylvania while The Rice and Lissette family, the founding family and owners of Utz, will retain more than 90% of its existing equity stake.
The Rice and Lissette family will subsequently control more than 50% ownership in Utz Brands upon completion of the transaction. The remaining ownership will be held by the public shareholders and sponsor of Collier Creek.
“As we approach our 100-year anniversary, we are excited to take this important step forward to position Utz for its next century of growth,” said Mr. Lissette.
“This transaction enables Utz to continue its long-term growth plans and provides greater access to capital to fund organic and inorganic growth. We remain deeply committed to Utz’s continued success.”
The companies revealed in a joint statement that the transaction has been unanimously approved by the board of directors of Collier Creek, as well as the board of managers of Utz.
The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2020, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including the approval of the shareholders of Collier Creek.
Upon the closing of the transaction, Collier Creek will become a Delaware corporation and the name of Collier Creek will be changed to Utz Brands, Inc.
“We look forward to working closely with Utz’s management to unlock meaningful value for all stakeholders by investing in innovation and marketing to delight consumers, expanding distribution into new retailers and geographies,” Giordano said.
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