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Aug-09-2006 10:31printcomments

Lion Capital Acquires Salem Based Kettle Foods

Kettle Chips bag

(SALEM) - An agreement has been reached whereby Lion Capital will acquire Kettle Foods, a leading premium natural potato chip company in the US and UK. Lion is acquiring the company in a private transaction which, conditional upon regulatory approval, is expected to close in the next 30 days. No financial details of the transaction are being released.

Established in 1978, Kettle Foods is one of the leading premium salty snack companies in the US and the UK.

The company’s main products include Kettle® batch cooked potato chips, and in the US it also produces and sells KettleTM brand Bakes baked potato chips, nuts, nut butters and tortilla products.

Kettle Foods is headquartered in Salem, has manufacturing facilities in Oregon (US) and Norwich (UK).

In fiscal year 2006, the company is estimated to generate sales of approximately $150 million.

Kettle® is a market leader in both the US natural and premium snack segments, where its products are distributed primarily through natural and mainstream supermarkets, and in the UK premium snack segment, where it distributes its products through mainstream grocery and impulse retailers. The company is an innovator of all natural snacks which are free of artificial flavours, artificial colours, MSG and trans fats.

Commenting on the agreement, Kettle Foods founder Cameron Healy said:

“We’ve found an investment partner in Lion Capital that brings deep respect for our brand, confidence in our business plan and the expertise to help deliver on our brand promise to consumers around the globe. Under new ownership, Kettle Foods will continue on the same path, making all-natural snacks with the same care and craft that we’ve used for nearly 30 years in business. Our fans will see no changes in the products they love; they’ll just be able to find us more easily as we continue to broaden our distribution.”

The founders will remain with the company for a period of time to ensure a smooth transition to the new owners.

Lyndon Lea, Founding Partner of Lion Capital, said:

“Kettle Foods has built a beloved consumer brand with significant loyalty and opportunity for growth. As a leader in the premium and natural segments of the snacks market, Kettle is capitalising on consumers’ trend towards ‘healthier’ eating through product innovation and increased market penetration. We believe there is a compelling opportunity to continue Kettle’s strong growth behind these same drivers, while honouring the company’s heritage, craft and commitment to great tasting, all natural snacks.”


Comments are Closed on this story.

intwesting indeed August 10, 2006 4:12 pm (Pacific time)

Anybody notice that Lion Capital was formerly called Hicks Muse, part owner Tom Hicks... who is closely tied to high-level Texas gov't including some "questionable" personal gain after making large donations (a la Kelley Wirthland.) He was/is especially close to GWB himself as well. In '04-05 some H-M partners began a breakaway process and became Lion Capital. Given Kettle's prior image as a committed to being an earth-friendly company, one wonders why CEO Mr. Healy was willing to sell his beloved organization via an investment firm with clear ties that are 180 degrees opposite in philosophy, ESPECIALLY big oil and a non-eco-friendly administration... politically speaking, of course. Not taking a side, just noticing that it's interesting. And incongruent. That's $ for ya.

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