Diamond Foods has acquired a 26% stake in UK popcorn maker Metcalfe’s Skinny Ltd.

Metcalfe’s Skinny markets its branded range of products in the better-for-you snack and popcorn categories in the UK. It will continue to operate as an independent subsidiary and be led by its existing management team.

“We are very excited to acquire an interest in Metcalfe’s Skinny, which is an incredibly innovative, fast-growing, premium brand appealing to foodie consumers looking for lighter great tasting snacks,” said Ashley Hicks, MD of Diamond’s Kettle Chips UK unit. “We look forward to working with the management team to support their future growth ambitions in the on-trend, high growth popcorn snack category in the UK.”

Metcalfe’s Skinny co-founders Julian Metcalfe and Robert Jakobi added: “We are very excited about the opportunity to expand Metcalfe’s Skinny brand with the support and expertise of the Kettle organisation.”

Metcalfe’s Skinny was formed last year when it was separated from Metcalf’s other “flagship” brand Asian foods maker Itsu Grocery Ltd. At the time, the company’s owners Metcalfe and Jakobi said the split would enable each brand to focus on reaching their full potential. 

Diamond Foods itself agreed to a takeover bid from US snacks group Snyder’s-Lance in October. Snyder’s-Lance struck a deal to pay US$1.91bn for the business. The transaction remains subject to customary closing conditions, including shareholder approval, although it has been backed by Diamond’s largest investor, the private-equity firm Oaktree Capital.

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