Utz Quality Foods, a U.S. manufacturer of branded salty snacks, and Collier Creek Holdings, a special purpose acquisition company, have entered into a definitive agreement to combine and form Utz Brands, a pure-play snack food platform in the United States. Upon the closing of the transaction, it is expected that Utz Brands will trade under the ticker symbol “UTZ” on the New York Stock Exchange.
Founded in 1921, Utz has grown to become a large family-owned salty snack company in the United States, with more than 40 years of consecutive adjusted net sales growth. The company’s portfolio of brands includes Utz, Zapp’s, Golden Flake, Good Health, and Boulder Canyon, among others. The company 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/party mix, and other snacks, including better-for-you snacking options. After nearly a century as a family-owned business, this transaction will introduce Utz as a publicly listed company, with an anticipated initial enterprise value of approximately $1.56 billion.
Collier Creek was co-founded by Chinh Chu, Roger Deromedi, and Jason Giordano, who bring more than 80 years of combined investing and operating experience, with a focus on the consumer goods sector. Deromedi, who had a long tenure as chairman of Pinnacle Foods and, before that, as CEO of Kraft Foods, will become chairman of Utz Brands. Utz Brands’ board of directors will be composed of a majority of independent directors under the applicable listing rules of the New York Stock Exchange.
Dylan Lissette, who has served as Utz’s CEO since 2013 and has worked at the company for almost 25 years, will continue to lead the business along with the existing management team. Utz Brands will remain headquartered in Hanover, Pa.
The Rice and Lissette family, the founding family and owners of Utz, will retain more than 90% of its existing equity stake, which will represent more than 50% ownership in Utz Brands upon completion of the transaction.
“As we approach our 100th anniversary, we are excited to take this important step forward to position Utz for its next century of growth,” said Lissette. “This transaction enables Utz to continue its long-term growth plans and provides greater access to capital to fund organic and inorganic growth.”