Utz Quality Foods LLC, best known for its salted chips, is acquiring better-for-you food manufacturer Inventure Foods Inc. (Nasdaq: SNAK) for approximately $165 million. Transaction comes after the target initiated a strategic and financial review in July 2016, according to Inventure Foods CEO Terry McDaniel.

Inventure Foods, based in Phoenix, produces snacks in the better-for-you category using a variety of owned and licensed brand names. Boulder Canyon Foods, TGI Fridays, Nathan's Famous, Vidalia Brands, Poore Brothers, Tato Skins and Bob's Texas Style are among the target’s portfolio of branded products. Inventure Foods has manufacturing facilities in Arizona and Indiana.

Founded in 1921, Utz is a U.S. manufacturer of salty snacks that are distributed to the grocery, mass-merchant, club store, convenience store and drug store markets. The buyer offers a full line of potato chips, pretzels, cheese snacks, corn chips, tortillas, veggie stix/straws, popcorn, onion rings and pork skins products. The Hanover, Pennsylvania-based company owns a variety of branded products, including: Utz, Golden Flake, Zapp’s, Dirty Potato Chips, Good Health, Bachman, Bachman Jax, Wachusett and Snikiddy.

The deal comes at a time when consumers are more informed and are demanding fresher, healthier, and better-for-you food options. Consumer interest and the growing trend has galvanized buyers into acquiring producers of healthy foods. Related deals include: B&G Foods Inc.’s (NYSE: BGS) buying Back to Nature Foods Co. from Brynwood Partners; Fresh&co’s acquiring a 35-acre farm to focus on local ingredients; Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc.’s purchasing of antioxidant drink company Bai Brands LLC; and General Atlantic’s minority investment in Joe & the Juice, a chain of urban juice and coffee bars.

Rothschild is serving as financial adviser to Inventure Foods, while DLA Piper LLP is serving as legal counsel. Utz has tapped Stephens Inc. and Cozen O’Connor as its financial and legal adviser, respectively.

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Kamaron Leach

Kamaron Leach

Kamaron Leach joined SourceMedia in 2016, serving as Reporter of Mergers & Acquisitions. Kamaron writes the Finance Finesse column about investment banking and lending, and also covers the media and entertainment sector.