Pinnacle Foods acquires Wish-Bone brand

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 140 views 

Pinnacle Foods said it will pay $580 million for the Wish-Bone salad dressings business from Uniever.

“The acquisition of Wish-Bone is a perfect fit with our successful strategy of ‘Reinvigorating iconic brands,’” said Bob Gamgort, CEO for Pinnacle Foods. “In addition to enabling significant cost synergies and tax benefits, the transaction enhances our ability to offer consumers meal solutions and recipe ideas across our broad portfolio of brands. We are excited to apply our innovation capabilities to this great brand.”

The transaction is expected to close before the end of the year. The deal includes the range of liquid and dry-mix salad dressing flavors sold under the Wish-Bone and Western brands, according to the release.

Annual sales for the brands being acquired are about $190 million.

Unilever has been actively shedding several business units in recent years. In 2012, Unilever sold Bertoli and P.F. Chang’s Home Menu frozen meals business to ConAgra Foods for $267 million.

Earlier this year Unilever agreed to sell the Skippy peanut butter to Hormel Foods for $700 million.

Pinnacle Foods manufactures products under the following brands: Duncan Hines, Vlasic, Log Cabin, Armour, Birds Eye, Van de Kamp’s and Hungry-Man.

“Wish-Bone is an iconic brand and the No. 1 Italian dressings brand in the U.S.,” said Kees Kruythoff, president of Unilever North America. “We believe the potential of both the Wish-Bone and Western brands can now be more fully realized with Pinnacle Foods. As we continue to shape our portfolio to deliver sustainable growth for Unilever, this change will give us the focus to drive growth behind our core foods portfolio."

Pinnacle Foods has a manufacturing facility in Fayetteville. Unilever and Pinnacle Foods are suppliers to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and each operate local sales offices in Northwest Arkansas.