One of the largest candy makers in the world is growing its salty-snack portfolio with the acquisition of two pretzel makers, including Bluffton-based Pretzels Inc. Pennsylvania-based The Hershey Co. (NYSE: HSY) says it will invest $1.2 billion to acquire Dot’s Pretzels LLC and Pretzels Inc, which is a contract manufacturer for Dot’s Pretzels and other snack brands.
Hershey is purchasing the Indiana company from an affiliate of Peak Rock Capital, a private investment firm in food and beverage industry. It has three manufacturing locations, including facilities in Bluffton and Marshall County. It also operates a plant in Kansas.
Dot’s operates four plants, which are included in the deal.
“As the fastest growing U.S. pretzel brand, Dot’s Pretzels would further accelerate our success in the permissible salty snack category, along with our successful SkinnyPop and Pirate’s Booty brands,” said Michele Buck, The Hershey Company president and chief executive officer.
Buck says the acquisition of Pretzels Inc. will give Hershey “deep pretzel category and product expertise” and the manufacturing capabilities to support Dot’s growth and future pretzel innovation.
Hershey expects to close the deal before the end of the year.