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Campbell gets the munchies, buys Snyder's-Lance for $4.87B

Last Updated Dec 18, 2017 at 12:00 pm EDT

FILE - This March 20, 2015, file photo shows crackers on the Lance Toast Chee production line at Snyder's-Lance in Charlotte, N.C. Campbell Soup announced Monday, Dec. 18, 2017, that it will spend $4.87 billion in cash for Snyder's-Lance, gorging on a snack market that has grown increasingly competitive. (John D. Simmons/The Charlotte Observer via AP, File)

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Campbell Soup will spend $4.87 billion in cash for Snyder’s-Lance, gorging on a snack market that has grown increasingly competitive.

The soup maker said Monday that the acquisition will allow it to expand its distribution channels in the crowded field.

Campbell Soup Co., based in Camden, New Jersey, is paying $50 per share, a 6.8 per cent premium to Snyder’s-Lance’s closing price Friday. That’s about a 27 per cent premium to the stock’s close last Wednesday, just before rumours of a deal began to circulate.

Snyder’s-Lance, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, makes pretzels and chips. Its most well-known brands include Snyder’s of Hanover, Kettle Brand and Pop Secret. It will join the Campbell’s division that makes Pepperidge Farm and Goldfish crackers.

The Snyder’s-Lance purchase marks Campbell’s sixth and largest acquisition over the last five years. It bought beverage-maker Bolthouse Farms in 2012, baby food company Plum and biscuit company Kelsen in 2013, hummus and salsa maker Garden Fresh in 2015, and soup maker Pacific Foods in 2017.

In midday trading, Campbell Soup shares added 36 cents to $49.95. Snyder’s-Lance gained $3.10, or 6.6 per cent, to $49.89.