Kettle Foods acquires 74% of Metcalfe’s to take full control

Snyder’s-Lance, Inc. announced that the Company’s Kettle Foods subsidiary completed the acquisition of Metcalfe’s skinny Limited (“Metcalfe”), by acquiring the remaining 74% interest in the leading UK premium popcorn brand. Kettle Foods had initially acquired a 26% stake in the business from Metcalfe in January 2016. Metcalfe was founded in 2009 by Julian Metcalfe, the co-founder of Pret A Manger and founder of itsu.

Metcalfe’s skinny is the UK’s leading premium popcorn brand, and also incorporates a fast growing range of corn and rice cake products. The UK popcorn market is one of the fastest growing categories within the UK snack food industry, growing by 45% over the last two years1 as consumers increasingly seek out better-for-you snacking options. The addition of a leading premium popcorn brand, Metcalfe’s skinny popcorn®, to the UK’s leading premium chip brand, KETTLE® Chips, reflects Kettle Foods’ ambition to evolve into a more widely based premium snacking leader in Europe.

Carl E. Lee, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer of Snyder’s-Lance commented, “We are excited to add the Metcalfe’s skinny brands to our portfolio and expand our presence in the UK marketplace.  We see tremendous growth in the UK with additional opportunities for further international expansion for our innovative collection of snacking brands.  This addition to our branded portfolio provides us with another better-for-you option in a growth snacking category in the European markets, and we look forward to supporting the continued success of the Metcalfe’s skinny brands.”

Slaughter & May (legal) and Spayne Lindsay (financial) were advisers to the Purchaser.