Kettle Foods unchanged by US parent company’s takeover

Factory worker at Kettle Foods in Bowthorpe. Picture submitted.

Factory worker at Kettle Foods in Bowthorpe. Picture submitted. - Credit: ©Archant Photographic 2011

It is business as usual for Kettle Foods despite a billion-dollar merger between its parent company and a rival snack maker.

The Norwich crisp maker's US parent company Diamond Foods has agreed a deal with Cape Cod crisps maker Snyder's Lance worth $1.9bn, or £1.2bn.

The deal is expected to be finalised early next year, with Kettle Foods and its sister companies coming under Snyder's Lance ownership.

A spokesman for EDP Top 100 firm Kettle Foods said business could continue as usual, but said she was unable to comment further at this time. There was some

speculation early last month that cornflake producer Kellogg was considering buying the brand in a $1.5bn deal. But weeks later the Snyder's Lance deal was announced.

Snyder's Lance chief executive and president Carl Lee said: 'By combining the resources and expertise of Snyder's-Lance and Diamond, we expect to see widening profit margins with additional scale and an expanding line of our better-for-you products.

'We plan to take full advantage of the combined sales forces of Snyder's-Lance and Diamond to drive stronger top line growth than either company could achieve alone.'

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The Kettle Foods announcement was followed in August by a top-level shake up, which saw managing director Dominic Lowe replaced with Ashley Hicks, Tesco Hungary's commercial director.

Kettle Foods UK's latest set of accounts revealed that it had boosted its market share to 4.5pc in 2014, as it continued its strategy of selling crisps on promotion to combat rising cost pressures.

The move to maintain the amount of crisps sold on discount saw it take a further 0.6pc slice of the market volume, helping turnover to rise £2.7m to £83.9m for the year ending July 31 2014.

The Bowthorpe-based company's pre-tax profits grew £2.8m to £12m over the same period.

In 2013, profits were knocked back by a £2.57m one-off cost to fund a business improvement programme.

Is your business planning a high-level merger? Call Sabah Meddings on 01603 772879 or email