MINNEAPOLIS — General Mills, Inc. has exited Venezuela, selling off its Venezuela business to Lengfeld Inc., a private, international investor with a presence in Venezuela. The business primarily manufactures and sells canned meats under the Underwood brand, but it also includes the Rico Jam and Frescarini pasta brands. General Mills employs about 611 people in Venezuela, all of whom will remain with the divested business.
|Sean Walker, president of General Mills Latin America|
“This is a decision to prioritize other growth opportunities within our Latin American portfolio,” said Sean Walker, president of General Mills Latin America. “We would like to thank members of the General Mills Venezuela team, who have performed well despite challenging external conditions.”
General Mills has operated the Underwood business in Venezuela, the largest part of its portfolio in the country, since 2001. It took the brand over as part of the Pillsbury acquisition.“We expect to incur a non-cash charge of approximately $35 million pre-tax in the fourth quarter related to this sale,” Don Mulligan, chief financial officer of General Mills, said during a March 23 conference call with analysts. “This charge will be excluded from adjusted earnings, and we anticipate the tax loss on this transaction will unlock approximately $20 million in incremental cash flow in F.Y. 16.”