US-based snack brands Kar’s Nuts and Sanders have merged.

KNPC Holdco of Detroit, which owns the Kar’s and Second Nature brands of nuts and trail mixes, will merge with Morley Candy Makers, a manufacturer of confectionery products sold under the Sanders Fine Chocolatiers name.

Financial terms for the transaction were not disclosed in a statement today (25 October), although Kar’s deems the deal to be an acquisition from its own respect. Sanders will operate as a stand-alone company and workers at both businesses will be retained. 

Through the deal, Sanders will have access to a wider distribution network, while Kar’s will gain additional production capacity.

Sanders chief executive Brian Jefferson said: “As we explored strategic opportunities for Sanders, it was critical to identify a partner who truly understood and valued our brand and our employees.”

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Nick Nicolay, who is currently president of Kar’s, will head up the combined company, which will be headquartered in Madison Heights, Michigan. Jefferson will remain in his role until the deal is fully completed and then he plans to retire.

Kar’s said its “acquisition” of Sanders represents its first purchase following an investment in 2017 from an affiliate of private-equity fund Palladium Equity Partners.

“Palladium and other Kar’s Nuts equity holders made follow-on investments to support the acquisition and the future growth of the combined company,” the statement read. 

Nicolay added: “Sanders is a successful company with a legacy of customer loyalty and quality products. As we consistently evaluate growth opportunities, this merger is ideal for Kar’s Nuts as we expand our reach in the snacking industry.”