SkinnyPop owner Amplify acquires Tyrrells potato chips in $390m deal

By Vince Bamford

- Last updated on GMT

Tyrrells has recently expanded in Australia and Europe
Tyrrells has recently expanded in Australia and Europe

Related tags Tyrrells Snack foods

UK-based potato chip brand Tyrrells is to be acquired by US SkinnyPop owner Amplify Snack Brands.

Tyrrells - which has a presence in categories including potato chips, vegetable crisps, premium popcorn and organic crisps and snacks -  exports to more than 37 countries.

Private equity firm Investcorp, which bought Tyrrells in 2013 for £100m ($130m), has agreed to sell the business to Amplify for an enterprise value of £300m ($390m). Completion is subject to competition clearance and is expected by the end of the third quarter 2016.

Investcorp said it had overseen  an “extensive transformation​” of Tyrrells, during which sales and EBITDA had more than doubled and employee numbers grown by 70% globally. International markets account for almost 40% of sales compared to 20% three years ago.

Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Amplify owns brands including SkinnyPop popcorn and Paqui tortilla chips. Earlier this year its acquired fellow Texas business Boundless Nutrition, producer of Oatmega protein bars.

'Unique snack food leader'

Together, Amplify and Tyrrells will partner to create a truly unique international better-for-you snack food leader that can continue to drive robust future revenue and earnings growth​,” said Amplify president and chief executive officer Tom Ennis.

Similar to Amplify, Tyrrells has a strong entrepreneurial spirit and successful track record of transforming categories and creating growth brands​.”

Ennis added that Amplify would look to increase its operating scale, international reach and product and brand diversity.

Tyrrells chief executive David Milner said the deal would give the opportunity to accelerate sales growth for Tyrrells’ brands in the US, as well as the scope for Amplify’s brands in the international marketplace.

'Entering new territories'

Building upon the strength of each of our respective customer relationships and leveraging Tyrrells’ manufacturing capabilities, we shall be entering new territories as well as broadening our reach in existing markets​,” he added.

Recent overseas activity by Tyrrells has included investment in Yarra Valley Snack Foods – the Australian business it acquired last year – as it looks to expand the Tyrrells brand in the Australian and Asia Pacific markets. Australia is now the company’s second largest international market after France. 

In May, Tyrrells announced it was acquiring German organic chips business Aroma Snacks, giving  Tyrrells its fifth site, and a manufacturing platform in Germany as it looks to build its European business and increase its presence in the organic market.

'Ambitious growth strategies'

From the outset when Tyrrells was acquired by Investcorp we projected ambitious growth strategies and that's exactly what we have delivered​,” said Milner. “It has been a hugely successful partnership resulting in a business which is in great shape for further international expansion​."

Tyrrells was described as “a great British success story​” by Carsten Hagenbucher, managing director of Investcorp's European corporate investment team.

Three years ago we saw the opportunity to export a fantastic domestic brand and that has been our focus, through two transformative acquisitions - both of which were proprietary deals - and by driving growth in the UK and many international markets​.”

Amplify is today (August 8) announcing its second-quarter 2016 results.

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