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Credit Suisse Supports Campbell Soup Acquisition of Snack-Food Giant Snyder’s-Lance Inc.

December 20, 2017, 06:30 AM
Filed Under: Mergers & Acquisitions

Campbell Soup Co. has agreed to acquire Snyder's-Lance Inc. for $50.00 per share in an all-cash transaction, the two companies said. The acquisition, which has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies, will enable Campbell to expand its portfolio of snacking brands in the $89 billion U.S. snacking market. Charlotte, North Carolina-based Snyder's-Lance is a snacking company whose portfolio includes brands such as Snyder's of Hanover, Lance, Kettle Brand, KETTLE chips, Cape Cod, Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps, Pop Secret, Emerald and Late July.

The purchase price represents a nearly 27 percent premium to Snyder's-Lance's closing stock price on December 13, 2017, the last trading day prior to media reports regarding a potential transaction. Closing of the transaction is expected by early second quarter of calendar 2018.

Campbell said it plans to finance the acquisition through $6.2 billion of debt comprising a combination of long-term and short-term debt. On December 18, 2017, Campbell entered into a Bridge Commitment Letter, by and among Campbell, Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC and Credit Suisse AG. Pursuant to the Debt Commitment Letter, the arranger thereunder has committed to obtain a 364-day senior unsecured bridge term loan credit facility in an aggregate principle amount of up to $6.2 billion, which facility is anticipated to be replaced or refinanced by Campbell's issuance of any combination of (i) senior unsecured notes through a public offering or in a private placement and/or (ii) senior unsecured term loans made on or prior to the closing date of the Merger.

The company added it will suspend share repurchases to maximize free cash flow for the purposes of paying down debt. Campbell expects to maintain its current dividend policy. Following the acquisition, Snyder's-Lance will become part of Campbell's Global Biscuits and Snacks division, which includes the company's Pepperidge Farm, Arnott's and Kelsen businesses, and the simple meals and shelf-stable beverages business in Australia, Asia Pacific and Latin America. The division is led by Luca Mignini, President. Campbell expects the acquisition to be accretive to its earnings per share in fiscal 2019. The company also expects approximately $170 million in cost synergies by end of fiscal 2022 and additionally, expects to achieve a majority of Snyder's-Lance's existing cost transformation program.


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