February 4, 2010 / 2:30 AM / 9 years ago

Lance, Diamond in bidding for Kettle -Bloomberg

NEW YORK, Feb 3 (Reuters) - Snack food companies Lance Inc LNCE.O and Diamond Foods Inc DMND.O are among the bidders for privately held potato-chip maker Kettle Foods, according to a report on Bloomberg’s website.

The story, which cites people familiar with the matter, said that a sale by Kettle’s owner, London private-equity firm Lion Capital LLP, could be announced in the next 30 days.

Bloomberg also cited PepsiCo Inc PEP.N as a bidder. The Wall Street Journal had also reported PepsiCo as a bidder in December.

Also in December, Reuters had reported that Lion Capital, a consumer-sector focused firm, was looking to sell Kettle Foods for about $700 million, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Lion, whose other portfolio companies include the Wagamama chain of noodle restaurants and Weetabix breakfast cereal, hired investment bank Rothschild [ROT.UL] to help sell the Salem, Oregon-based Kettle, the person had told Reuters.

The buyout firm had acquired Kettle in 2006 for a valuation of between $280 million and $320 million, a source familiar with the matter said at the time. (Reporting by Sinead Carew; Editing by Gary Hill)

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