Utz Quality Foods has entered into a definitive agreement with Collier Creek Holdings to combine and form Utz Brands, which will serve as a leading pure-play snack food platform in the U.S. After nearly a century as one of the largest U.S. family-owned businesses, this transaction will introduce Utz as a publicly listed company, with an anticipated initial enterprise value of approximately $1.56 billion.
"As we approach our 100-year anniversary, we are excited to take this important step forward to position Utz for its next century of growth," said Dylan Lissette, who has served as Utz's CEO since 2013 and has worked at the company for almost 25 years. He will continue to lead the business along with the existing management team. "This transaction enables Utz to continue its long-term growth plans and provides greater access to capital to fund organic and inorganic growth. We remain deeply committed to Utz's continued success."
As part of the transaction, Utz Brands will remain headquartered in Hanover, Pennsylvania, and is expected to trade under the ticker symbol "UTZ" on the New York Stock Exchange.
“We look forward to partnering with Roger and the seasoned team at Collier Creek as we leverage their experience in driving value creation in food platform companies,” Lissette continued. “As a public company, I am confident that Utz will continue to grow its importance within the salty snack industry, bringing more of our brands to an ever-greater consumer audience across the U.S."
Since its inception in 1921, Utz has grown its salty snack brands to include a portfolio of iconic household names and better-for-you brands like Utz, Zapp's, Golden Flake, Good Health, and Boulder Canyon.
"Utz Brands is a phenomenal business combination that meets all of the criteria we established when we launched Collier Creek," said Roger Deromedi, a Co-Founder of Collier Creek. Deromedi will become Chairman of Utz Brands. "It's a leading platform in the attractive and growing salty snack category, with significant competitive advantages and multiple opportunities to accelerate growth and drive value creation. We are confident that by supporting Dylan and the talented management team with our proven operating playbook, Utz can become the fastest-growing pure-play branded snack platform of scale in the U.S. We look forward to working with the Utz team in the years ahead."
Utz operates 14 manufacturing facilities nationwide with a broad range of capabilities, producing a full line of potato chips, pretzels, cheese snacks, veggie snacks, pork skins, pub and party mixes, and other snacks, according to a press release.
"Our partnership with Utz is consistent with our philosophy of investing in high-quality, durable businesses with compelling growth opportunities," said Chinh Chu, another Co-Founder of Collier Creek. "This transaction delivers significant near-term value to our existing shareholders, and we are fully aligned with the Rice and Lissette family to drive long-term value creation in the future."
Jason Giordano, another Co-Founder of Collier Creek, added, "We look forward to working closely with Utz's management to unlock meaningful value for all stakeholders by investing in innovation and marketing to delight consumers, expanding distribution into new retailers and geographies, broadening the Utz product offering, driving operational efficiencies, and capitalizing on strategic acquisition opportunities that further enhance Utz's unique platform and brand portfolio."
The three Co-Founders of Collier Creek bring more than 80 years of combined investing and operating experience, with a focus on the consumer goods sector, to the new Utz Brands, as stated in the press release.
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