Hershey Co. is looking more like a salty snacks company with the agreement, revealed Sept. 12, to buy Pirate Brands from B&G Foods Inc. for $420 million.
Pirate Brands consists of extruded snacks Pirate’s Booty, Smart Puffs and Original Tings. B&G Foods bought the business, then called Robert’s American Gourmet Food, in 2013 for $195 million from equity investors. At Hershey, it will join Amplify Brands, maker of Skinny Pop and other products, which Hershey acquired last December for $1.6 billion.
“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,” said Robert Cantwell, president/CEO of B&G Foods. “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.
“One of my biggest goals as CEO has been to ensure that B&G Foods remains ready and able to continue our acquisition strategy,” he added.
Hershey said Pirate’s Booty is a fast-growing brand in the more than $2.5 billion cheese puffs category, with retail sales up more than 8% this year, and a market leader for consumers seeking snacks with clean labels and no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.