Saturday, February 13, 2016

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

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PhillyDeals posts interviews, drafts and updates that Joseph N. DiStefano writes alongside his Sunday and Monday columns and ongoing articles about Philadelphia-area business.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn. He taught writing and research at St. Joe’s. He has written for the Inquirer since 1989, except when he left a few times to work at Bloomberg and elsewhere. He wrote the book Comcasted, and raised six kids with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at, 215.854.5194, @PhillyJoeD. Read his blog posts at and his Inquirer columns at Bloomberg posts his items at NH BLG_PHILLYDEAL.

Reach Joseph N. at or 215 854 5194.

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