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Tyson Foods Buys Circle Foods, Terms Not Disclosed

Meat products maker Tyson Foods Inc. (TSN) has acquired the assets of Circle Foods, LLC, a producer of frozen and refrigerated handheld Mexican foods as well as Indian flatbreads, from investment firm Claridge Inc., the two companies said Monday. Terms of the acquisition, which were completed June 1, were not disclosed.

California-based Circle Foods has been in business for 25 years and its branded products include Nuevo Grille, Tortillaland handheld Mexican products as well as uncooked tortillas, and Rotiland Indian flatbreads. The company, which operates a plant in San Diego, also produces private label products for various customers.

Stephen Bronfman, executive chairman of Claridge said, "We are delighted to see the transition of Circle Foods to Tyson Foods, who are committed to continue the growth of the business. Right from the beginning when we met the Tyson people and organization we knew we had an excellent partner we could work with on this transaction."

Donnie Smith, president and CEO of Tyson Foods said, "Claridge and the Circle Foods team have developed an outstanding portfolio of products and customers, with a fantastic plant and workforce, and will be an excellent fit within our branded consumer products group. We believe Tyson's robust sales structure, as well as our frozen and refrigerated foods distribution system, will enable this business to accelerate its growth."

Springdale, Arkansas-based Tyson Foods said it does not plan to make any significant operational changes and will retain the existing Circle Foods management as well as production team in place to grow the business. The operation currently has about 600 full-time employees.

Claridge is based in Montreal, Quebec. The company represents the interests of the Stephen Bronfman family and is actively involved in the management of a diverse portfolio of third-party managed investments, in addition to direct equity participation in the food industry, real estate and entertainment sectors.

In Monday's regular session, TSN is trading at $24.70, down $0.30 or 1.18 percent on a volume of 57,079 shares.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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