The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


May 14, 2014

Snyder of Berlin to get new owner

JOHNSTOWN — A Chicago-based food company has reached a $4.2 billion deal to acquire Snyder of Berlin’s parent company, Pinnacle Foods.

The deal will give Hillshire Brands – known for Jimmy Dean and Ball Park products as well as lunch meat sold under its own name – control of an umbrella of brands that include Bird’s Eye, Vlasic, Mrs. Butterworth’s and, locally, Snyder’s products, which are sold throughout parts of the mid-Atlantic.

“This transaction speaks to the value Pinnacle employees have created by executing our strategy of reinvigorating iconic brands,” Pinnacle CEO Bob Gamgort said in a statement. “The combination of the brand portfolios of Pinnacle and Hillshire creates a powerful food company with broad reach across frozen, refrigerated and grocery categories.”

The transaction, which is subject to customary regulatory and shareholder approvals, is expected to close by September.

Until that happens, “it’s hard to say” what impact, if any, the deal will have on Snyder of Berlin, Hillshire spokesman Matthew Pakula said, according to The Associated Press.

Snyder has been a Somerset County mainstay since 1947, but has been under the control of multiple parent companies since the 1970s, The Tribune-Democrat’s archives show.

Its current owner, Pinnacle, previously under the Agrilink name, has owned the company for more than a decade.

Hillshire Brands’ $4.2 billion cash and stock buyout includes $18 per share in cash to stockholders and 0.5 shares of its own common stock to acquire Pinnacle. Once complete, it means Pinnacle’s shareholders would own 33 percent of the combined company, The Associated Press reported.

David Hurst is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at

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