Is Hershey divesting Tyrrells potato chips from its Amplify Snack Brands?

By Douglas Yu

- Last updated on GMT

There are rumors that Hershey could be selling UK chip brand Tyrrell's. Pic: Tyrrells
There are rumors that Hershey could be selling UK chip brand Tyrrell's. Pic: Tyrrells
There are rumors that Hershey is looking to divest British potato chip brand Tyrrells from recently-acquired Amplify Snacks.

According to reports by Sky News, Hershey is in the early stages of exploring options​ for the chips brand. If the deal comes through, Tyrrells will have its third owner in little more than 18 months.

Hershey said it does not comment on rumors.

Ownership changes

Tyrrells has an extensive product portfolio, including potato and vegetable chips, popcorn and organic snacks.

Private equity company Investcorp acquired the brand from Langholm Capital for $130m in 2013, before selling it to SkinnyPop maker Amplify Snacks for $389m in August 2016. In late 2017, Hershey acquired Amplify Snacks for $1.6bn.

Tyrrells chips were recently rolled out in the US.

Hershey’s potential sale of Tyrrells may come as a surprise to the industry as, according to CEO Michele Buck, the US chocolate giant has had its eye on becoming an "innovative snacking powerhouse."

However, Brittany Weissman, a consumer analyst at Edward Jones, said it would not be suprised by the move. The basis for Hershey’s acquisition of Amplify was “US synergies," ​she said.

“Tyrrells is a lower margin business and Amplify has had challenges with the brand since the acquisition (due to the changing retail environment in the UK)​.

"The UK retail environment has been especially challenging,"​ Weissman said. "There's an increased competition from discounted grocers like Aldi and Lidl, and as a result, retailers in the UK are focusing more on their own store-branded products.

"This has hurt sales of Tyrrells snacks as retailers emphasized their store branded products... Plus, Hershey doesn’t have UK operations, so there would likely be more challenges than benefits in Hershey owning the brand,”​ added Weissman.

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