Hershey to acquire two popcorn manufacturing plants

The Hershey Co. has agreed to buy two manufacturing plants from Weaver Popcorn Manufacturing, a co-manufacturer of Hershey’s SkinnyPop brand, in Bethlehem and in Whitestown, Indiana.

Cost was undisclosed. The acquisition is subject to customary regulatory approvals and will be financed with cash on hand and short-term borrowings, a release said.

The deal is designed to enable the global confectioner and salty snacks company to sustain strong growth for SkinnyPop by strengthening internal supply chain capabilities in combination with its network of suppliers and co-manufacturers.

“Hershey has experienced tremendous growth over the past few years, stemming from a combination of successful strategy execution and an increase in more snacking occasions among consumers,” said Kristen Riggs, Hershey’s president of salty snacks. “In fact, SkinnyPop has been No. 1 in retail sales growth for ready-to-eat popcorn over the last three years.”

Jason Reiman, Hershey’s chief supply chain officer, added: “In response to consumer snacking trends, we continue to evolve our supply chain, making significant investments in the size, scale and capabilities of our network, improving resiliency while we continue to strengthen existing supplier relationships. Our acquisition of Weaver’s two facilities is a perfect example of how we’re investing to bring added capacity and strength across our portfolio of brands well into the future.”

A family-owned and operated company for over 90 years, Weaver operates three independent entities, including Weaver Popcorn Manufacturing.

According to its website, Weaver Popcorn Manufacturing “is a recognized leader in the production and co-packing of popping corn, microwave popcorn and ready-to-eat popcorn,” and operates the world’s largest microwave popcorn manufacturing facility.

Weaver Popcorn CEO Jason Kashman said, “Hershey is acquiring two best-in-class popcorn manufacturing operations that will enable continued growth in volume and quality, with teams at each location that have an unrivaled expertise.”

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

Select Medical agrees to purchase acute care hospital in Va.

Mechanicsburg-based Select Medical has signed an agreement to acquire Vibra Hospital of Richmond, a 63-bed long-term acute care hospital in Richmond, Virginia.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Under Select Medical’s ownership, the hospital will carry the brand Select Specialty Hospital – Richmond and provide post-ICU medical care for chronic, critically ill patients requiring extended healing and recovery.

Select Specialty Hospital – Richmond expands the company’s presence in Virginia, joining Select Specialty Hospital – Hampton Roads in Newport News, Inova Specialty Hospital in Mount Vernon (opening in May), Riverside Rehabilitation Hospital in Yorktown and 43 Select Physical Therapy outpatient centers across the state.

“We look forward to bringing the industry’s highest quality of critical illness recovery care to Richmond as the needs for this patient population continue to grow across the region,” Tom Mullin, executive vice president of hospital operations at Select Medical, said in a release. “The acquisition will also extend Select Medical’s care continuum in Virginia providing access to a full network of inpatient and outpatient care settings throughout a patient’s recovery journey.”

Based on number of facilities, Select Medical is one of the largest operators of critical illness recovery hospitals, rehabilitation hospitals, outpatient rehabilitation clinics and occupational health centers in the United States. Last fall, Select Medical announced it was opening an inpatient rehab hospital on the West Shore.

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

United Natural Foods to lease huge distribution center in York County

Grocery wholesaler United Natural Foods Inc. announced Friday its plans for a 1.3 million-square -foot distribution center at 1025 Locust Point Road, Manchester.

The temperature-controlled facility in Newberry Township represents the next generation of grocery distribution warehousing and will help the company continue to serve its growing customer base in the mid-Atlantic region, according to a release. Under construction, the building is expected to be completed over the next 15 months.

This will add to UNFI’s expanding portfolio of distribution centers in Pennsylvania and will provide the Rhode Island-based business with increased network capacity and improved capability to more efficiently deliver its products and services.

The Manchester location also will offer a lifestyle center aimed at improving retention and employee engagement.

“Our York facility, located less than 15 minutes away, has felt the impact of both new and existing customer growth we’ve experienced in this region over the last 12-18 months,” Erin Horvath, UNFI’s chief operating officer, said in the release.

“Leasing this facility allows us to best utilize our capital and manage company resources all while delivering on our transformation program … . Similar to several other UNFI facilities, this new distribution center will implement technology and automation solutions designed to enable greater network capacity, scalability and profitability.”

The Manchester lease is the latest in a series of transactions completed by Scout Cold Logistics, an affiliate of AEW Capital Management, all of which are focused on food distribution and production assets throughout the U.S.

UNFI delivers to more than 30,000 locations in North America, including natural product superstores, independent retailers, conventional supermarket chains, e-commerce providers and food service customers.

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

LinkBancorp to merge with mid-Atlantic peer

Andrew Samuel, startup bank Linkbank’s chairman and CEO – Submitted

Camp Hill-based LinkBancorp Inc., parent company of LinkBank, and Partners Bancorp, a financial services company with operating subsidiaries The Bank of Delmarva and Virginia Partners Bank, has entered into an agreement to merge in an all-stock combination, valued at approximately $167.8 million.

Once the transaction is completed, the combined organization will be a leading mid-Atlantic community banking franchise with nearly $3 billion in assets and an expected $300-plus million market capitalization.

The combined bank holding company will operate under the LinkBancorp Inc. name; each of Partners’ subsidiary banks will merge with and into LinkBank. The combined company will operate under Link’s regional focused business model, and Partners executives will lead the Delmarva/Maryland, Northern Virginia and Fredericksburg regions. The corporate headquarters will be in Camp Hill.

Andrew S. Samuel, CEO and vice chairman of LinkBankcorp, said in a release, “This is a transformational partnership that will enhance what both banks are able to do for our team members, clients, investors and communities, while driving significant value for our shareholders. This merger significantly accelerates each entity’s size, profitability and operating leverage. We look forward to bringing our companies together to better serve all stakeholders and achieve our mission of positively impacting lives.”

Joseph C. Michetti, Jr., Link’s current chairman, will continue to serve as chairman of the combined company board of directors.

The merger is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.

LinkBancorp Inc. was formed in 2018. Its subsidiary, LinkBank, is a Pennsylvania state-chartered bank serving individuals, families, nonprofits and business clients throughout central and southeastern Pennsylvania through 10 client solutions centers. The merged entity will have a combined 30 or so branches in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer