B&G Foods to acquire some Unilever brands

by Keith Nunes
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PARSIPPANY, N.J. — B&G Foods, Inc. has entered into an agreement with Unilever U.S., Inc. to acquire the Culver Specialty Brands business unit, which includes the Mrs. Dash, Molly McButter, Sugar Twin, Baker’s Joy, Static Guard and Kleen Guard brands, for approximately $325 million in cash. Mrs. Dash and the five other brands generated approximately $90 million of sales in the 12 months ended Sept. 30, 2011. B&G Foods projects that the brands will generate EBITDA of $35 million to $38 million during fiscal 2012.

“We are very pleased to add these six brands to the B&G Foods portfolio,” said David L. Wenner, president and chief executive officer of B&G Foods. “Mrs. Dash seasonings have a unique position within the seasonings category and are very relevant to today’s health conscious consumer. The other brands in the transaction are also consistent with B&G Foods’ acquisition strategy of acquiring smaller, high-margin brands. We expect the acquisition to enhance the already high margin structure of B&G Foods and to be immediately accretive to our earnings per share and free cash flow.”

B&G Foods said it expects to fund the acquisition with additional debt.

Mrs. Dash, which was introduced in 1983, is a salt-free seasoning. Baker’s Joy is a no-stick baking spray. Sugar Twin is a calorie-free sugar substitute, and Molly McButter is the No. 2 brand in the butter sprinkles segment, with fat-free butter and cheese varieties.

Static Guard and Kleen Guard are two non-food brands.

Unilever said the Culver Specialty Brands products are manufactured at third-party facilities and that no Unilever-owned plants will affected by the transaction.
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