Two protein bar brands were recently involved in buzzy transactions: in June global snack brand Mondelēz acquired a majority interest in Perfect Snacks and in August, Hershey’s purchased ONE Brands. But fueling a future in the snack bar set requires an innovative product, a sound strategy and the right timing. In a panel discussion at NOSH Live Winter 2019 in Santa Monica, Bill Keith, founder and CEO of Perfect Snacks; Peter Burns, president and CEO of ONE Brands; and Janica Lane, managing director at investment bank Piper Jaffray (who worked on both deals), discussed the art of deal making.
Onstage, Keith and Burns examined how to decide when to sell your company or seek majority investment — and how to know a potential partner is a proper cultural fit. Keith shared that part of his company’s motivation was finding a partner who could help the brand reach the next level in becoming a “fresh snacking powerhouse.” Meanwhile, Burns noted having a personal relationship with Hershey CEO Michele Buck was key in solidifying his transaction.
Lane added that potential partners seek sustainable growth with good margins and innovation across every area of the business. In making deals, entrepreneurs should do their homework before talking with investors. And while seeking outside help can prove effective, they should also be confident before and during investor conversations, she said.
“Rely on advisors, but do trust your gut,” said Lane. “If you know it’s right, do it.”