Campbell's acquisition of Snyder's-Lance is the sixth takeover the company has carried out in five years. Both companies said Friday they don't comment on rumors.
The deal is waiting for approval from Snyder-Lance's shareholders and regulatory approval.
Campbell Soup is hungry for pretzels, chips and popcorn. Snyder's-Lance will become a part of Campbell's Global Biscuits and Snacks division following the transaction's close.
It is unclear whether the deal will result in any layoffs at the Snyder's-Lance corporate headquarters in Ballantyne, where the company employs about 1,300.
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Campbell now gets about 31 percent of its sales from snacks and 35 percent from soup, the company said. Shares of Snyder's-Lance Inc., which is based in Charlotte, North Carolina, rose 5.3 percent.
In 2012, Campbell acquired Bolthouse Farms for $1.55 billion.
Campbell Soup, based in New Jersey, already makes a number of well-known snacks, including Goldfish crackers and Milano cookies.
Including net debt and a $76 million make-whole payment, the deal is valued at $1.6 billion, the companies said in a news release. Cloud services provider Akamai Technologies leaped after Elliott Management, led by activist investor Paul Singer, disclosed a 6.5 percent stake in the company and said it wants to discuss changes to the company's business and other areas. The company was No. 862 on the 2017 Forbes list of Fortune 1000 companies.
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Campbell Soup will spend $4.87 billion in cash to acquire Snyder's-Lance, gorging on a snack market that has grown increasingly competitive.
Last April, Carl Lee unexpectedly retired as CEO as the company said it faced "difficult challenges" that weighed on its profitability in the first quarter.
Melding Campbell and Snyder's-Lance's roughly $2 billion US snack portfolios will radically cut costs and add complementary salty snacks to round out Campbell's successful Pepperidge brand and Lance's position as a big national distributor of salty snacks, Feeney said. Lee Jr. was replaced by Brian Driscoll, the former president of Diamond Foods.
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