Utz, the nearly century-old Hanover, Pennsylvania-based chip and pretzel maker that bought Louisiana's iconic Zapp's chip brand in 2011, has gone public as Utz Brands Inc.
Trading kicked off Monday on the New York Stock Exchange.
The former family-owned Utz Quality Foods merged with consumer goods acquisition firm Collier Creek Holdings to form a public company, still based in Hanover. The Rice and Lissette family, Utz's founding family and owners, kept a more than 90% equity stake, or more than half of ownership, in a deal announced Friday.
Utz salty snacks were first made in 1921 in Pennsylvania by founders Bill and Salie Utz.
Utz, which is on track for $932 million in sales this year, now owns a snack portfolio that includes Utz, Zapp's, Golden Flake, Boulder Canyon, TORTIYAHS! and other brands. It makes potato chips, pretzels, cheese snacks, veggie snacks, pork skins and tortilla chips at 14 U.S. manufacturing plants in Pennsylvania and seven other states — including its Louisiana Zapp's plant in Gramercy.
Zappe Endeavors was founded in 1985 by Ron Zappe, who died in 2010 and was a lifelong entrepreneur who turned away from the oilfield after the 1980's oil bust and started what would become affectionately known as “The Little Chippery in Gramercy” and one of the state’s most enduring brands.
The Utz family owners have spent the past decade building their company and national brand through acquisitions and geographic growth with companies like Zappe.
The deal with Collier will allow Utz to pursue its goal of becoming the fastest-growing branded snack company in a growing salty snack category, Dylan Lissette, Utz's CEO since 2013 and a member of the founding family, said in an announcement. He said the company plans to expand through increased marketing, new products, geographic growth and acquisitions.
Going public "marks a significant milestone and will fuel our next century of growth after nearly 100 years as a family-owned business," Lissette said.
The common stock is trading under the ticker symbol UTZ.
Lissette will continue to lead the business with the existing management team, the company said. Collier Creek co-founder Roger Deromedi, a former CEO of Kraft Foods, will become chairman of Utz Brands, and it's board will be made up of a majority of independent directors.
Proceeds from the deal with Collier were used to repay debt.
Last October, Utz acquired Snyder of Berlin, a rival snack food company that is separate from another rival, Snyder's of Hanover.
In 2016, Utz acquired Alabama-based Golden Enterprises, which owns the Golden Flake brand of chips and pork rinds. That deal was financed with an investment that year from Metropoulos & Co., a family-owned investment firm and former owner of National Bohemian.
Acadiana Business Today: Zapp's chip brand owner Utz goes public in merger aimed at next 100 years of growth; Former Devin building sold
Utz, the nearly century-old Hanover, Pennsylvania-based chip and pretzel maker that bought Louisiana's iconic Zapp's chip brand in 2011, has g…
CAMERON — Water from the 10-foot storm surge Hurricane Laura pushed ashore early Thursday still has part of the main street in the Southwest L…
Hurricane Laura devastated the town of Cameron in Cameron Parish last week. Two days before the storm hit, we photographed the town and one of…
Gifford Briggs is stepping down as president of the Louisiana Oil & Gas Association after 2½ years to take a job with the American Petrole…
A Louisiana-based tractor and implement retailer has bought the former Devin International building and hopes to move into the building early …