Hershey to buy Amplify Snack for $2.15 billion

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HERSHEY, PENNSYLVANIA (REUTERS) - US candy maker Hershey is shelling out US$1.6 billion (S$2.15 billion) to buy SkinnyPop producer Amplify Snack Brands.

That's US$12 for every Amplify share and an over 70 per cent premium to the stock's close on Friday (Dec 15).

The deal includes debt.

Hershey chief executive Michele Buck said in a statement: "Hershey's snack mix and meat snacks products, combined with Amplify's Skinny Pop, Tyrrells, Oatmega, Paqui and other international brands, will allow us to capture more consumer snacking occasions by creating a broader portfolio of brands."

Hershey also said the deal will save it US$20 million over the next two years.

Hershey stock was slightly up on the news. Amplify shares skyrocketed.

Big US food companies are snapping up smaller brands following consumers who choose healthier or more artisanal snacks. Over the past two years, Hershey has bought Krave meat jerky and Ripple Brand Collective's barkTHINS.

Last year, Hershey rejected a US$23 billion takeover bid from Oreo cookie maker Mondelez International.

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