MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA — General Mills, Inc. has agreed to acquire Bendigo, Victoria-based Pasta Master, a producer of chilled Italian meals, pasta and sauces. The sale, which includes the business and a production facility in Bendigo, is expected to be completed in March 2011.

General Mills said approximately 75 people working at the facility will become part of General Mills when the sale is completed next year.

“The acquisition of Pasta Master strategically broadens our ready-to-cook pasta offerings to consumers,” said Markus Muehleisen, managing director of General Mills Australia. “Its long history of innovation and quality in Italian meals fit well with our Latina portfolio, which is Australia’s No. 1 brand of fresh pasta and sauces.”

In addition to Latina, General Mills also markets Old El Paso Mexican food, Betty Crocker cake mixes and Nature Valley muesli bars, which were introduced last April.