Private equity firm invests more than $146M in Utz snacks

HANOVER, Pa. – A private equity firm has invested more than $146 million in Pennsylvania snack food company Utz.

The Wall Street Journal reports ( Metropoulos and Company announced their investment Wednesday.

The Rice family, which owns and operates 95-year-old Utz, will remain majority shareholders. Utz, based in Hanover, Pennsylvania, has made a number of acquisitions in the past five years, including Good Health pretzels and veggie straws and Zapp’s potato chips.

Daren Metropoulos, a principal of Metropoulos, tells the newspaper that the combination of growth potential and heritage made Utz appealing to his firm, which focuses on expanding and reviving well-known brands.

Metropoulos brought Hostess Brands out of liquidation three years ago.

Utz says it will use the new investment to fund its recent acquisition of Alabama-based snack maker Golden Enterprises.