Post to acquire Dakota Growers Pasta

by Keith Nunes
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ST. LOUIS – Post Holdings, Inc. has entered into an agreement to acquire Dakota Growers Pasta Company, Inc. from Viterra, Inc. for $370 million. Dakota Growers Pasta manufactures a full line of dry pastas for retail, food service and food processors, including whole grain and organic items. Product lines include Dakota Growers Pasta, Dreamfields and Pasta Sanita.

Based in Carrington, N.D., Dakota Growers has durum wheat milling and pasta production capabilities as well as operations in New Hope, Minn. Post said Dakota Growers will be managed independently from other Post businesses by its existing management team led by Ed Irion, vice-president and general manager.

The transaction is structured as a stock purchase, in which Post has agreed to purchase all of the outstanding stock of Agricore United Holdings Inc., the parent company of Dakota Growers. When the transaction closes, Post will pay $370 million in cash. Post said the acquisition will be funded by a combination of cash on hand and up to $200 million in debt financing. The company anticipates closing the transaction in January 2014, but it is subject to closing conditions and the expiration of waiting periods required under antitrust laws.

Post said that on a full-year basis it expects Dakota Growers to contribute approximately $300 million to net sales and approximately $42 to $46 million of E.B.I.T.D.A.

“I am delighted to welcome Ed, his team, and the Dakota Growers associates into the growing family of Post Holdings’ companies,” said William P. Stiritz, chairman and chief executive officer of Post. “With Dakota Growers, Post continues to expand its portfolio into segments of the overall food industry where it sees opportunities to grow and diversify its strong cash flow.”

Post Holdings has been on an acquisition binge during the past year. In August, the company agreed to acquire the Premier Nutrition Corp., Emeryville, Calif., for $180 million. In late May the company acquired the branded and private label cereal, granola and snack assets of Hearthside Food Solutions L.L.C., Downers Grove, Ill., for $158 million, and in January Post acquired Attune Foods, San Francisco, for an undisclosed amount.

Dakota Growers was acquired by Glencore as part of its acquisition of Viterra Inc. in 2012. Viterra acquired Dakota Growers for $240 million in 2010.
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