The Supply Side briefs: Acquisitions by Snyder’s Lance and Bayer

• Synder’s Lance to acquire Baptista’s Bakery, shedding private brands

Snyder's-Lance announced plans to acquire Baptista's Bakery Inc., a baked snack foods and better-for-you snack company that makes Snack Factor Pretzel Crisps.

This transaction supports efforts by Snyder's-Lance to sharpen its focus on our branded products in growth categories such as "better for you" and other emerging products which are driven by consumer preferences and insights.

"Baptista's is a leader in highly differentiated snacks, and we're excited to be working with their talented, creative team" said Carl E. Lee, Jr., president and CEO of Snyder's-Lance. "Baptista's is a company that has excelled in providing exceptional product quality and innovation while commercializing production in ways that are effective and unique”

He said the two companies’ brands will complement each other and their cultures are also a good fit.

“We are committed to retaining and growing the Franklin, Wisc., facility, which is strategically well positioned within our network. By combining the resources and expertise of Baptista's with the scale of Snyder's-Lance, we will accelerate our ability to deliver exciting, on-trend snacks and product innovation while expanding our 'better for you' products and gaining needed capacity for our growing Snyder's of Hanover pretzels.” 

Snyder’s Lance also has agreed to sell its private brands along with two manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and Canada to Shearer's Foods, a provider of private label snacks headquartered in Massillon, Ohio. The sales price is $430 million.

Consistent with the Snyder's-Lance strategic plan, this transaction will allow Snyder's-Lance to focus entirely on its branded products by placing more resources to work on growth categories such as "better for you," nutritional and premium snacks, the company said.

"This transaction is an important step forward for Snyder's-Lance as we dedicate our attention to our branded portfolio," Lee said. Looking forward for Snyder's-Lance, we believe focusing more completely on our branded products will create better long term shareholder value as we grow organically through product innovation and the acquisition of additional core brands.”

Completion of the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and Shearer's obtaining financing for the transaction as well as customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2014. 

Synder’s Lance is a supplier to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. with sales office Bentonville.

• Bayer to buy Merck’s customer care division

Bayer announced plans to acquire Merck’s consumer care division including such retail shelf staples as Claritin, Coppertone and Dr. Scholl’s for a reported $14.2 billion. This deal will make Bayer the No. 2 company in over-the-counter sales once the transaction is closed.


“Merck never found the support it sorely needed from Dr. Scholl’s and other brands, so it has decided to seek relief with a dose of Bayer,” writes the Star-Ledger’s Alexi Friedman on NJ.com.

About 70% of Bayer's consumer product sales are in the U.S. and Bayer sees opportunities to grow sales globally with this consumer division.The merged consumer care business will be based in Whippany, N.J.

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Merck acquired many of the brands in the consumer division from its 2009 purchase of Schering-Plough. Analysts point out that consumer over-the-counter market is not part of Merck’s strategic plans and selling it off was not a surprise.

Bayer and Merck also agreed to collaborate on the development and commercialization of new cardiovascular medications. As part of this deal Merck agreed to pay Bayer $1 billion upfront and as much as $1.1 billion for hitting sales milestones.

Bayer is a supplier to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. with local offices in Northwest Arkansas.

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