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Tyrrells owner bought in £1.2bn deal

By James Pugh | South Shropshire | Business | Published:

The owner of crisp brand Tyrrells has been bought by American chocolate giant Hershey for £1.2bn.

Tyrrells, which is based in Leominster

The brand, which is based on the south Shropshire border in Leominster, has been sold alongside other assets by US-based Amplify Snack Brands.

The agreement has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies.

It is not yet known how the move will affect operations in Leominster.

Michele Buck, The Hershey Company president and chief executive, said: "The acquisition of Amplify and its product portfolio is an important step in our journey to becoming an innovative snacking powerhouse as together it will enable us to bring scale and category management capabilities to a key sub-segment of the warehouse snack aisle.

"Hershey's snack mix and meat snacks products, combined with Amplify's Skinny Pop, Tyrrells, Oatmega, Paqui and other international brands, will allow us to capture more consumer snacking occasions by creating a broader portfolio of brands."

Tom Ennis, Amplify Snack Brands president and chief executive, said: "Since Amplify's inception in 2014, our company's goal has been to bring transparency to our products, and clean ingredients and great tasting snacks to consumers.

"This transaction is a continuation of our mission as Hershey also believes in bringing to consumers great-tasting snacks made with the best ingredients possible.

"Hershey is a great cultural partner for Amplify and I'm excited for our team who will have access to Hershey's marketing and go-to-market resources to take our brands to the next level."

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J.P. Morgan Securities and Morgan Stanley & Co are serving as financial advisers to Hershey in connection with this transaction, and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom is serving as legal adviser.

Jefferies is serving as the financial adviser to Amplify and Goodwin Procter is serving as legal adviser.

Earlier this year it was revealed booming sales of crisps at home and abroad helped Tyrrells to grow revenues by a quarter last year.

The high-end snack specialist reported sales for the year to April 1 of £61.6 million, up from £49.3m in 2015.

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The figures covered the period leading up to the company’s takeover by New York Stock Exchange-listed Amplify Snack Brands for £300m in August 2016.

Pre-tax profits for the period also showed strong growth, rising from £8.1m to £13.7m during the period.

During the period covered by the results Tyrrells continued its move into overseas markets by acquiring Yarra Valley Snack Foods in Melbourne, Australia, as part of a drive to expand into that market.

Just after the financial year ended it then took over another company in Germany.

In the UK turnover rose by £10m to £49.3m, while in Europe the figure was £2.3m higher at £8.9m. The figure was slightly up at £3.43m in the rest of the world.

Tyrrells was founded in Leominster by farmer William Chase in 2002, who sold the majority shareholding of the business to Langholm Capital in 2008 for £30 million.

James Pugh

By James Pugh
@JamesP_Star

Shropshire Star Business and Farming Editor.

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