Acquisitive US snacks business Utz Brands has bought the Vitner’s brand from local peer Snak King Corp. for US$25m.

It is its second deal in two months and follows the acquisition in November of Truco Enterprises, the Texas-based owner of the Mexican tortilla chips and salsa brand On the Border.

The deal, done through its Utz Quality Foods subsidiary, will see Pennsylvania-based Utz acquire the snack brand’s intellectual property, including the Vitner’s trademark, and direct-store-delivery (DSD) distribution assets related to Vitner’s-branded products.

Utz said the deal will expand its position in Chicago and the Midwest where the Vitner’s brand is best known.

It said it expects the transaction, due to close next month, to be accretive to earnings in 2021 and beyond. 
Vitner’s, established in 1926, makes potato chips, cheese snacks, corn snacks and popcorn. Most of Vitner’s products are currently manufactured by Snak-King, but Utz plans to transition manufacturing of most of those products to its own manufacturing plants.

Dylan Lissette, CEO of Utz, said: “This strategic acquisition will make Utz a more significant competitor in the Chicago area. Combined with our recently announced acquisition of the On the Border tortilla chip, salsa and queso brand, we create a strong brand platform to better serve the primary salty snack channels and continue to expand rapidly in this important growth market. 

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“This transaction is a continuation of our strategy to successfully build long-term value and share by expanding in major metropolitan areas, like we did in New York City in 1994, Boston in 2004, Pittsburgh in 2006 and Atlanta in 2011.”

Barry Levin, CEO of Snak King, said: “Utz will be able to leverage its world-class family of brands and expertise in DSD operations to help Vitner’s continue to serve the Chicago market.”

Utz manufactures a diverse portfolio of savoury snacks under brands including Utz, On The Border, Zapp’s, Golden Flake and Boulder Canyon. 

Snak King, founded in 1978, is one of the largest independent snack food manufacturers in the US with brands including The Whole Earth, El Sabroso, Granny Goose and Jensen’s Orchard.