Ralcorp rejects ConAgra – again

by Keith Nunes
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ST. LOUIS, MO. – The board of directors of Ralcorp Holdings, Inc. once again has rejected the offer by ConAgra Foods, Inc. to acquire the company for $94 per share in cash. Noting that Ralcorp’s board “carefully considered” ConAgra’s bid with the assistance of the company’s financial and legal advisors, the board said it determined not to enter into negotiations with ConAgra.

“Ralcorp has an established and strong track record of creating superior value for shareholders,” said William Stiritz, the chairman of Ralcorp’s board. “Our private label business has been enormously successful and is well positioned for the future. The Ralcorp team, under Kevin Hunt's leadership following Dave Skarie's retirement at year end, will continue to aggressively pursue and execute the same strategies that have created an outstanding record of value creation for Ralcorp shareholders.

“Post Foods is on track to be spun off to Ralcorp shareholders, at which time I will become chairman of the board of the new Post Foods. Post Foods' main asset is its great brand name – it has untapped potential. Looking forward, the management of this valuable asset will not be a combination of the past, but rather it will be creative, imaginative and adaptive in pursuit of shareholder value creation – nothing is off the table. I look forward to spending 100% of my time for as long as it takes to ensure that Post Foods meets its potential with a solid record of success.”

Last week ConAgra said it planned to withdraw its offer for Ralcorp on Sept. 19 if Ralcorp did not “engage in a constructive dialogue.” To date, ConAgra has made three offers to Ralcorp’s board of $82, $86 and $94 per share in cash.
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