Saturday, August 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

ConAgra pays $100M+ for PA pretzel baker

National Pretzel sold

ConAgra pays $100M+ for PA pretzel baker

ConAgra, the Omaha-based food-processing giant that owns Chef Boyardee, Peter Pan, Snack Pack and other supermarket brands, says here that it's purchased Lancaster-based National Pretzel, which bakes private-label pretzels for chain groceries, at its bakeries in Lancaster and Hanover, PA and Visalia, Calif., from investor Michael Torporek's New York buyout firm, Brookstone Partners

The buyer and seller didn't name a price, but a ConAgra official confirmed the total was more than $100 million, according to the Wall St Journal here. 

National Pretzel employs 700, including 500 in Pennsylvania, says spokesman Jeff Mochal.

Pennsylvania is home to a large concentration of potato-chip and pretzel makers. Family-run snack firms have been under pressure to consolidate as American snack consumption flattens. See for example last year's purchase of Snyder's of Hanover by North Carolina-based Lance Inc., valued at over $600 million, here; and last winter's Utz-Zappe deal here

Joseph N. DiStefano
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PhillyDeals posts raw drafts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area finance, investment, commercial real estate, tech, hiring and public spending, which he's been writing since 1989, mostly for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn, taught writing at St. Joe's, and has written the book Comcasted, more than a thousand columns, and thousands of articles, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at or 215 854 5194.

Joseph N. DiStefano
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