ConAgra Foods Inc. (CAG: Quote) has agreed to acquire the Bertolli and P.F. Chang's brand from Unilever plc (UL: Quote,ULVR.L,UN: Quote) for $265 million, to improve its North American frozen meals business.
The deal also includes a license for the use of the Bertolli brand name and the transfer of Unilever's existing license with P.F. Chang's for use of the P.F. Chang's Home Menu brand name.
ConAgra, which already sells frozen meals under Marie Callender's, Banquet, Healthy Choice and Kid Cuisine, expects the acquisition to improve its position.
"Bertolli and P.F. Chang's multi-serve frozen meals are excellent additions to our portfolio. We'll use our extensive frozen food and innovation capabilities to grow these great brands even further," said Gary Rodkin, chief executive officer of ConAgra Foods.
ConAgra said the acquisition does not alter its fiscal year 2013 financial goals. The company expects fiscal year 2013 adjusted earnings to grow 6-8 percent over fiscal year 2012 earnings of $1.84 per share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters currently estimate earnings of $1.98 per share for the year. Analysts' estimates typically exclude one-time items.
Unilever said the decision to sell off its North American frozen meals business is in line with its global strategy to exit the frozen foods business. Unilever previously divested its European frozen foods business.
This will be the fifth acquisition in the last 12 months for ConAgra Foods, following the acquisitions of National Pretzel Company, Del Monte Canada, Odom's Tennessee Pride and the pita chip business of Kangaroo Brands.
UL is currently trading on the NYSE at $35.77, up $0.21 or 0.59%.
CAG is currently trading at $24.79, up $0.49 or 2.02%, on the NYSE.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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