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By Annie Gasparro
Hershey Co. plans to buy Pirate's Booty cheese puffs from B&G Foods Inc. in a $420 million deal, the companies said Wednesday.
Pirate Brands, which also includes Smart Puffs and Original Tings, will add to Hershey's growing roster of salty snacks.
Hershey has been working to diversify its business beyond candy and chocolate for the past several years as consumer tastes shift toward healthier snacks.
Hershey bought SkinnyPop popcorn ownerAmplify Snack Brands Inc. in January in a $1.6 billion deal, including debt, its largest acquisition ever.
Prior to that, it bought Krave jerky and expanded into the faster-growing snack aisle with new products like Reese's pretzel-nut-and-chocolate snack mixes.
Higher costs for ingredients and shipping have hurt Hershey's profit this year.
Hershey said retail sales of Pirate's Booty have risen 8% over the past year, thanks to a lack of artificial ingredients that many shoppers have sought out.
The Pirate Brands deal, which after tax benefits will cost $360 million, will be financed with cash and short-term borrowing.
B&G acquired Pirate Brands in 2013 for approximately $195 million.
Stephen Nakrosis contributed to this article.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
September 12, 2018 19:54 ET (23:54 GMT)
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