Utz rebrands and goes public with Collier Creek merger

Ioannis Pashakis//June 8, 2020

Utz rebrands and goes public with Collier Creek merger

Ioannis Pashakis//June 8, 2020

Hanover, York County-based Utz Quality Foods LLC plans on changing its name to Utz Brands, Inc. and becoming a publicly listed company at an anticipated initial enterprise value of $1.56 billion upon closing a merger with special purpose acquisition company Collier Creek.

The companies announced last week that they intend to close on a deal in the third quarter of 2020 that would merge the popular salty snack company with Collier.

As part of the deal, Collier co-founder Roger Deromedi will become chairman of Utz Brand’s new board of directors. Deromedi was previously chairman of Pinnacle Foods and CEO of Kraft Foods.

“Utz Brands is a phenomenal business combination that meets all of the criteria we established when we launched Collier Creek,” Deromedi said. “It’s a leading platform in the attractive and growing salty snack category, with significant competitive advantages and multiple opportunities to accelerate growth and drive value creation.”

Deromedi added that Collier Creek’s experience in the consumer goods sector will help UTZ “become the fastest-growing pure-play branded snack platform of scale in the U.S.”

While the companies have yet to announce the cost of the deal, proceeds from the transaction are planned to be used primarily to pay down existing debt, the companies wrote in an accompanying press release.

Utz CEO Dylan Lissette will continue to lead the business along with his current management team. The company plans to remain headquartered in Hanover.

“As we approach our 100-year anniversary, we are excited to take this important step forward to position Utz for its next century of growth,” Lissette said. “This transaction enables Utz to continue its long-term growth plans and provides greater access to capital to fund organic and inorganic growth. We remain deeply committed to Utz’s continued success.”

Collier announced that its sponsors and directors will invest an initial $35 million into Utz Brands alongside public investors. Collier also currently holds approximately $453 million in its trust account, which will be used to pay cash consideration to Utz’s owners, pay transaction expenses and reduce the company’s debts.

Late last year, Utz announced that it acquired seven new snacking brands to add to its portfolio after buying the brands from Chicago-based Conagra Brands.

Utz currently operates 14 manufacturing facilities nationwide, where it produces potato chips, pretzels, cheese snacks, veggie snacks and more.

Upon completion of the sale, Utz Brands will be traded under the ticker symbol UTZ on the New York Stock Exchange.