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Golden Flake, an iconic Alabama brand, is being sold in a jaw-dropping $141 million deal

Golden Flake's Birmingham operations are not expected to be affected by company's $141 million purchase. (contributed)
Golden Flake’s Birmingham operations are not expected to be affected by company’s $141 million purchase. (contributed)

Golden Flake will have a new owner but officials said to expect little else to change with the iconic Southern brand.

Utz Quality Foods Inc. said today it is purchasing Golden Enterprises, the maker of Golden Flake snack foods, for $141 million, including $7 million in debt.

The $12 per share purchase is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year, making Golden Flake a Birmingham-based subsidiary of the Hanover, Pennsylvania-based Utz.

Golden Flake will join Zapp’s as part of Utz’s Southern brands. The company also owns snacks under its own name brand as well as Dirty Potato Chips, Good Health, Bachman, Bachman Jax, Whachusett, Snikiddy and other brands.

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For Golden Flake, the deal gives it the financial and distribution strength that comes with being part of a larger company and builds on the synergies of management practices from two businesses with long histories.

“This merger will allow the Golden Flake brand to continue to grow in our core Southeastern markets, while expanding the product selections for our consumers,” said Mark McCutcheon, CEO of Golden Enterprises. “Utz is a very community-oriented company and we look forward to the future that Utz and Golden Flake will create together.”

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McCutcheon said Golden Enterprises chose a special committee of its board of directors to review strategic alternatives for Golden Flake’s growth. The Utz deal was the result.

North Point Advisors advised and Sirote & Permutt acted as counsel to the special committee. Sandler O’Neill advised and Cozen O’Connor acted as legal counsel to Utz.

Dylan Lissette, CEO of Utz, said the deal helps the company grow geographically.

“Golden Flake’s product line, market coverage and manufacturing facilities blend well with Utz’s desire to expand and grow our markets in the South.”

Golden Flake was founded in 1923 and is based in Birmingham, where it operates a manufacturing facility in addition to the one it operates in Ocala, Fla. It distributes to 15 states, mostly in the South and Southeast. Utz was founded in 1921 and operates six manufacturing plants in Pennsylvania, along with additional facilities in Colorado, Louisiana and Massachusetts through its subsidiaries.

“We are excited about the opportunity to partner with Golden Flake,” Lissette said. “The two companies are very similar both in mission and values, and each has a team of dedicated associates.”

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