US confectionery giant Hershey has extended its better-for-you portfolio with the acquisition of local snacks business One Brands for US$397m.

Charlotte, North Carolina-based One Brands produces a line of low-sugar, high-protein nutrition bars.

Mary Beth West, Hershey’s chief growth officer, said: “One’s portfolio of great tasting nutrition bars, with indulgent flavours such as Birthday Cake, Maple Glazed Doughnut and Peanut Butter Pie, will be a strong strategic fit within our overall innovative snacking powerhouse vision.

“Our beloved confection brands will continue to be the engine that drives our business while we broaden our better-for-you portfolio, offering more snacking choices for more consumers.”

Ron McAfee, founder of One Brands, said: “We’re proud of the brand we built and look forward to continuing to build on our momentum with the strength and capabilities that Hershey can provide.”

Hershey said the acquisition will enable it to provide a “competitive offering of brands” in the nutrition-bar category. One Brands will add to the company’s existing Oatmega business, which was acquired as part of the 2018 acquisition of Amplify Snack Brands, and its recent investment in Fulfil, the Irish snack bar brand in which Hershey took a minority stake earlier this month.

Hershey said it intends to expand the existing One Brands offering by “leveraging its core capabilities in sales and distribution, category management and digital commerce”.

The transaction, which will be financed through a mixture of cash and short-term borrowings, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.

Hershey said the acquisition is expected to be slightly accretive to earnings in the first full year post-closing.