Utz Quality Foods has agreed a deal to acquire US snack food competitor, Golden Enterprises, owners of the Golden Flake brand.

Shareholders in Golden Enterprises are being offered US$12 a share in cash, which is a 70% premium on the company’s 30-day average closing trading price of $7.

Golden Flake will continue to operate as a separate subsidiary under the leadership of its current management team based in its headquarters in Birmingham, Alabama, where it is known as “The South’s Original Potato Chip!”

The deal brings together two businesses that were founded in the 1920s. Utz Quality Foods was founded in 1921 by William and Salie Utz, in Hanover, New Hampshire.  The Golden Flake brand was created by Frank Mosher, Mose Lischkoff and Helen Freidman in 1923. Before being bought by the Bashinsky family in 1946.

Mark McCutcheon, chief executive officer of Golden Enterprises, said: “This merger will allow the Golden Flake brand to continue to grow in our core south eastern markets, while expanding the product selections for our consumers. Utz is a very community oriented company and we look forward to the future that Utz and Golden Flake will create together.”

Dylan Lisette, chief executive officer of Utz, said he was “excited about the opportunity to partner with Golden Flake”.  

He continued: “The two companies are very similar both in mission and values, and each has a team of dedicated associates. Golden Flake’s product line, market coverage, and manufacturing facilities blend well with Utz’s desire to expand and grow our markets in the south.

“Our company has viewed Golden Flake as a leader in the industry. Their culture, quality line of products, and dedicated people, through the vision and leadership that Mr Bashinsky established, is a wonderful fit within our company,” said Lissette. 

The two managements teams believe the merger will complement each others brand portfolios. Utz’s brand line up includes Utz, Zapps, “Dirty”, Bachman, Wachusett, Snikiddy and Good Health.

The deal is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.