ConAgra completes Ralcorp acquisition

by Jeff Gelski
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OMAHA and ST. LOUIS – ConAgra Foods, Inc. has completed its acquisition of Ralcorp Holdings, Inc. following the approval of the transaction by Ralcorp’s shareholders on Jan. 29 and the receipt of all required regulatory approvals. The combined company will have 36,000 employees and annual sales of about $18 billion, including $4.5 billion in combined annual private brand sales.

ConAgra Foods on Nov. 26, 2012, agreed to acquire Ralcorp for $90 in cash per share of Ralcorp common stock. The transaction was valued at about $6.8 billion, including the assumption of debt.

Gary Rodkin will continue as chief executive officer of Omaha-based ConAgra Foods. Kevin Hunt, former c.e.o. of St. Louis-based Ralcorp, will serve as a consultant for ConAgra Foods for the next 12 months. Richard Koulouris, vice-president and president of the Ralcorp Food Group, and Charles Huber, vice-president and president of the Ralcorp frozen bakery business, will report directly to Mr. Rodkin.

ConAgra Foods has established an integration team. A steering committee of senior leaders from ConAgra Foods and Ralcorp will lead the team.

ConAgra Foods plans to give preliminary estimates of the transaction’s benefits on earnings per share in the fiscal years 2013 and 2014 during the Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY) event Feb. 19 in Boca Raton, Fla.

“We are excited to have closed the transaction and welcome our talented new team members from Ralcorp to the ConAgra Foods family,” Mr. Rodkin said. “We are now in a position to begin the most substantial aspects of integration planning and look forward to learning from and working with our new colleagues. This important acquisition reinforces and accelerates our ‘Recipe for Growth’ strategy, which also includes growth in our core business and adjacencies, and expansion internationally.”
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