Sector News

Snack giant set to gobble up popcorn business

July 17, 2017
Food & Drink

Butterkist, the popcorn brand which employs 150 at its West Yorkshire base, is set to be acquired by snack giant KP Brands.

KP, which owns crisp brands Hula Hoops and McCoy’s, is acquiring the popcorn business from Blackpool-based Tangerine Confectionery.

Sky News has reported that the transaction deal will likely be undisclosed, with an official announcement expected today (Monday 17 July).

The West Yorkshire factory will revert to KP ownership, along with all 150 employees.

KP, the maker of crisp brands Skips, Discos and Wheat Crunchies, has been part of the Düsseldorf-based Intersnack Group since it was acquired in a £500m deal in 2012 and employs 1,600 in the UK.

The acquisition of Butterkist aims to place KP in the ‘healthy’ snack market, which the popcorn industry is now branding itself as.

Tangerine, which also manufactures Fruit Salad, Sherbet Fountains and Refreshers, is owned by private equity firm Blackstone.

Butterkist was originally founded in Kentucky in the United States in 1914. The founders opened up a factory in York after demand was fuelled by US soldiers that were stationed in the UK during the Second World War. The brand was sold to a number of owners, including Cadbury Trebor Bassett, before being bought by Tangerine in 2008.

Last year workers who were members of the GMB union undertook strike action at Tangerine’s York factory, which makes Mint Humbugs, Sherbert Fountains, Butterkist Popcorn and Princess Marshmallows, over pay.

By Clare Burnett

Source: The Business Desk

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