Diamond Foods to acquire Kettle

Posted by Josette Dunn on 1st March 2010

Diamond Foods, Inc. announced on Thursday (25 February) that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Kettle Foods, makers of premium potato chips, from Lion Capital LLP for US$615 million in cash.  Diamond will acquire Kettle operations in both the United States and the United Kingdom.

“Kettle Foods’ passion for making great tasting, natural potato chips has attracted a loyal consumer following and shaped a truly premium brand that has our deep respect,” said, Michael J. Mendes, Chairman, President and CEO of Diamond Foods. “By adding Kettle, including its talented team of employees, our snack business will have greater scale, which will help us to drive even greater innovation in the snack market.”

Highlights of the transaction:

  •  On a pro forma basis, the addition of Kettle Foods would add more than $250M in revenues and almost double Diamond’s EBITDA.
  •  The addition of Kettle Foods will more than double the size of Diamond’s snack business, enabling cross-promotional opportunities in the U.S. across a diversified offering of three complementary brands: Emerald(R), Pop Secret(R) and Kettle.
  • Adds premium brand to Diamond’s snack portfolio: Kettle Foods pioneered the kettle-cooked style in 1982, setting an early standard in the premium and adult chip categories on two continents with its natural ingredients and commitment to flavor innovation.

“In Diamond Foods, we are putting the Kettle brand in great hands,” said Tim Fallon, President of Kettle Foods North America, who helped steer the company’s double-digit growth over the past several years and will remain at the helm of the US Operations. “This is a company with a history of investing in new product development and creative marketing, which will only amplify the work we’re doing to attract new customers and innovate in the premium category.”

Jeremy Bradley, the Managing Director of Kettle’s U.K. business added, “with a strong track record of brand-building, innovation and growth in the snack category in the U.S., Diamond Foods is an ideal partner to build upon our success and drive the next phase of Kettle Foods. While Diamond Foods has a long history of international sales, Kettle’s strong retail and operational foundation in the United Kingdom offers Diamond a platform, led by Kettle Chips, for expanding in the U.K. and Europe.”