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Snack food maker seeks increase in sales

Hanover-based Utz Quality Foods Inc. has a plan to achieve a total of $1 billion in sales by the company's 100th birthday in 2021. The company makes pretzels, potato chips and other snacks. In the last two years, Utz has acquired three companies on its path to hitting $1 billion. Many small snack companies are using mergers and acquisitions as part of a business reorganization that allows them to compete with larger corporations.

The snack industry is on an upswing. Since 2009, people have been snacking more frequently. In 2009, 24 percent of Americans reported snacking three to four times daily. That number increased to 43 percent in 2012. The number of Americans that snacks more often has also increased.

As part of the plan to expand, Utz is also upgrading its facilities. The company entered an agreement to install high capacity Ethernet cables in their offices. Utz states that these improvements are necessary to give the company more technical capabilities for less money. An upgraded communications infrastructure helps with operations, but it also will help Utz continue to acquire other companies without running into any technical issues. The president and chief operating officer for the company stated that the company continues to grow, change and innovate. He declined to comment on whether Utz has identified additional companies it wishes to acquire.

Businesses contemplating changes such as a merger or acquisition may benefit from speaking with a business attorney who can help negotiate agreements. Once a business plan is finalized and a deal is made, an attorney can assist with drafting paperwork and may be able to handle any unexpected legal issues that may arise.

Source: Central Penn Business Journal, "Is Utz Quality Foods seeking next target in 'acquisition mode'?", Jim T. Ryan, May 03, 2013

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