The Supply Side briefs: ConAgra sells, Post buys

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 41 views 

• ConAgra sells LightLife brand
Packaged food giant ConAgra is divesting one of its smaller brands — LightLife — to private equity fund Brynwood Partners. LightLife provides vegetarian-based burgers, hotdogs other meatless frozen and refrigerated foods.

There were no terms of the deal announced on Monday (Sept 16) but Brynwood will assume control of the LightLife manufacturing facility in Turner Falls, Mass.

Brynwood named Roy Lubetkin as Lightlife's president and CEO and Michael Morin as chief financial officer.

Lightlife, which was founded more than 34 years ago, will join Brynwood's active investments in natural foods maker Back to Nature Foods Co., as well as DeMet's Candy Co. and Pearson Candy Co.

ConAgra last week cut its full-year earnings outlook, as the packaged-foods company said fiscal first-quarter earnings were softer than expected, especially in its consumer foods segment. In response, the company has said it is adjusting its merchandising, promotion and pricing strategies for its retail brands to improve the consumer foods segment's results as the fiscal year progresses.

ConAgra is a supplier to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. with a large sales office in Northwest Arkansas.

• Post Holdings acquires pasta business

Post Holdings announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Dakota Growers Pasta Company from Viterra Inc.

Post will pay $370 million in cash for the pasta business at the time of closing, which is slated for January.

The acquisition will be funded by a combination of cash on hand and up to $200 million in committed debt financing. On a full year basis, the transaction is expected to contribute approximately $300 million to net sales and approximately $42-$46 million of gross earnings.

Dakota Growers is a player in the approximately $5 billion North American pasta market, with leadership positions in the private label retail, foodservice and ingredient channels, according to the release. 

The Dakota Growers business will be managed independently from other Post Holdings businesses by its existing management team led by Ed Irion, vice president and general manager.

The company is located in Carrington, N.D., where it has durum wheat milling and pasta production capabilities. Dakota Growers also has production capabilities in New Hope, Minn.  

Post is a supplier to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. with a sales office in Northwest Arkansas.


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