Utz Quality Foods to merge and go public


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HANOVER, PA — Utz Quality Foods LLC will become a public company in a merger agreement with acquisition company Collier Creek Holdings. Together, the two companies will form Utz Brands Inc., a pure snacks platform that will trade under the symbol UTZ on the New York Stock Exchange.

Dylan Lissette, whose family founded Utz and who has been CEO of Utz since 2013, will continue to lead the company with the existing management team.

“As we approach our 100th anniversary, we are thrilled to take this important step to position Utz for its next century of growth,” said Lissette. “This transaction allows Utz to pursue its long-term growth plans and provides greater access to capital to fund organic and inorganic growth.”

Proceeds from the transaction are expected to be used primarily to repay existing borrowings from Utz. The Rice and Lissette family, the founding family and owners of Utz, will retain over 90% of their current stake, which will represent over 50% of the stake in Utz Brands upon completion of the transaction. Utz Brands will retain its headquarters in Hanover, Pennsylvania.

Founded in 1921, Utz has become the largest family-owned savory snack company in the United States, with more than 40 years of consecutive growth in adjusted net sales, the company said. Its brand portfolio includes, among others, Utz, Zapp’s, Golden Flake, Good Health and Boulder Canyon. The company operates 14 manufacturing plants nationwide, producing a full line of potato chips, pretzels, cheese snacks, vegetarian snacks, pork skins, pub and party mixes and other snacks, including including better-for-you snack options.

After nearly a century as a family business, this transaction will make Utz a publicly traded company, with an expected initial enterprise value of approximately $1.56 billion, or 11.6 times its EBITDA. estimated pro forma adjusted for 2021 of $134 million.

The transaction, announced June 5, has been unanimously approved by the Collier Creek board of directors, as well as the Utz board of directors. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2020.

The Rice and Lissette family retains over 90% of its current stake, which will represent over 50% of the stake in Utz Brands upon closing of the transaction. The remaining property will be held by the public shareholders and the sponsor of Collier Creek.

New York-based Collier Creek is a special-purpose acquisition company that completed its IPO in October 2018, raising proceeds of $440 million. Collier Creek was formed for the purpose of effecting a merger, stock exchange, asset acquisition, stock purchase, reorganization or similar business combination with one or more businesses.

Collier Creek was co-founded by Roger K. Deromedi, former president of Pinnacle Foods and former CEO of Kraft Foods. He will become president of Utz Brands.

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