B&G Foods sells Pirate’s Booty business for $420M

Parsippany-based B&G Foods Inc. is selling its Pirate Brands business — including the Pirate’s Booty line of snacks — to The Hershey Co. for $420 million, it announced this week.

B&G said it hopes to use the net proceeds from the sale to pay down debt and for possible acquisitions.

“Pirate Brands is a terrific business that has performed very well for us, and we believe it will continue to thrive under the ownership of The Hershey Co.,” Robert C. Cantwell, B&G’s CEO and president, said in a prepared statement. “The transaction we are announcing today is a great example of our ability to create meaningful shareholder value through accretive M&A by acquiring and investing in on-trend food brands.

“We acquired Pirate Brands in 2013 for approximately $195 million and, thanks to the passion, creativity and hard work of our dedicated team of employees, we have more than doubled the value of the business in five short years, creating tremendous value for our shareholders.”

Pirate Brands also includes the Smart Puffs and Original Tings brands.

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter, subject to customary approvals and conditions.

“One of my biggest goals as CEO has been to ensure that B&G Foods remains ready and able to continue our acquisition strategy,” Cantwell said. “By selling Pirate Brands at a very attractive multiple, and using the net proceeds to reduce long-term debt, we will significantly reduce our leverage, which positions us very well for future acquisitions.”