Mondelez Buys Rest of Healthy Snack Maker Hu

The giant snack food manufacturer has acquired the parent company of Hu Products, the maker of a popular paleo diet chocolate bar.
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Mondelez International  (MDLZ) - Get Report made another move into the healthier snack arena after announcing on Tuesday it had acquired Hu Master Holdings, the maker of a popular chocolate bar based on the paleo diet. 

The financial terms of the deal, which is slated to close on Jan. 21, were not disclosed. But the Wall Street Journal reported that the transaction values Hu at $340 million, citing people familiar with the matter. Mondelez first took a minority stake in Hu in 2019 in a deal that gave it the right to make the first offer to acquire the rest of Hu. 

Shares of Mondelez, the maker of Oreo cookies and Ritz crackers, dropped 0.31% to $57.74 on Tuesday morning. 

“Hu is a strong strategic complement to our snacking portfolio in North America,” said Glen Walter, executive vice president and president, Mondelēz International North America, in a statement. Hu will operate as part of Mondelez's North American Ventures business.

“This well-being brand platform provides further growth opportunities in chocolate, cross-category potential in crackers, as well as meaningful opportunities to expand distribution including in e-commerce and premium conventional retail," Walter added.

In recent years, Mondelez has acquired cookie maker Tate's Bake Shop, which uses healthier ingredients, and Perfect Snacks, which makes organic nutrition bars.

Hu's flagship chocolate bar is vegan and free of soy and refined sugar. More recently, Hu has expanded into grain-free crackers.

The company was founded in 2012, by Karp and siblings Jordan Brown and Jessica (Brown) Karp.

"Mondelēz International has been our minority partner for almost two years, and we are excited to fully join their family of brands because we believe their resources, strengths and progressive vision can help us accelerate positive change within snacking and grow the Hu platform in a bigger and broader way," said Jason H. Karp, chairman and co-founder of Hu, in a statement.

As part of the deal, Hu's senior leadership will receive contingent payments based on future performance of the company, Mondelez said.