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Campbell buys Snyder’s-Lance for $4.87 billion

NEW YORK — Campbell Soup will spend $4.87 billion in cash for Snyder's-Lance, gorging on a snack market that has grown increasingly competitive.

The soup maker said Monday that the acquisition will allow it to expand its distribution channels in the crowded field.

"This acquisition will dramatically transform Campbell, shifting our center of gravity and further diversifying our portfolio into the faster-growing snacking category," Campbell President and CEO Denise Morrison said in a statement announcing the deal.

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Campbell Soup Co. (CPB), based in Camden, New Jersey, is paying $50 per share, a 6.8 percent premium to Snyder's-Lance's (LNCE) closing price Friday. That's about a 27 percent premium to the stock's close last Wednesday, just before rumors of a deal began to circulate.

Snyder's-Lance, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, makes pretzels, chips. It's most well-known brands include Snyder's of Hanover, Kettle Brand and Pop Secret. It will join the Campbell's division that makes Pepperidge Farm and Goldfish crackers.

Campbell has reported falling sales as more people avoid processed foods. Besides its canned soups, it makes V8 juices and Prego pasta sauces. It bought organic broth maker Pacific Foods this year to shift its product lineup toward foods seen as healthier.

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