Charlotte-based snack maker Snyder’s-Lance is considering selling itself, CNBC reported Thursday.
The publicly traded company has hired an investment bank to consider a sale after a takeover approach from Campbell Soup, CNBC first reported, citing sources familiar with the matter. News of the reported sale sent the company’s shares up nearly 13 percent to $44.43.
CNBC’s sources cautioned, however, that there may be no deal. The sources also said that talks with Campbell and at least one other potential suitor are ongoing.
In an email to the Observer, a Snyder’s-Lance spokesman said the company does not comment on market speculation or rumors.
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A potential sale comes amid a year of change at Snyder’s-Lance, which is the product of the 2010 merger of Pennsylvania-based Snyder’s of Hanover and Charlotte-based Lance.
Last summer, Snyder’s-Lance laid off about two dozen full-time employees in its accounting department. The job cuts came months after Carl Lee stepped down abruptly as CEO as the company said it faced “difficult challenges” that weighed on its profitability. Brian Driscoll, former CEO of Diamond Foods and a member of Snyder’s-Lance’s board, was named the company’s new CEO in June.
Snyder’s-Lance said late last year it was investing $38 million to expand its Charlotte facilities, where it will add 130 new jobs over the next five years in exchange for an incentives package from the county and city. Also last year, the company bought Diamond Foods for $1.91 billion in an effort to expand its better-for-you snack portfolio.
The company’s Charlotte history dates to 1913 when Philip Lance first peddled roasted peanuts for a nickel a bag. The company now makes a variety of snacks, including Lance’s well-known peanut butter sandwich crackers, Snyder’s of Hanover pretzels and Pop Secret popcorn.