ST. LOUIS — Ralcorp Holdings, Inc. said the Securities and Exchange Commission has declared its Post Holdings, Inc. registration statement “effective,” setting the stage for the proposed separation of the Post cereals business to be completed on Feb. 3.

Ralcorp said it will complete the separation by distributing at least 80% of the outstanding shares of Post common stock to holders of Ralcorp common stock as of the close of business on Jan. 30. Each share holder will receive one share of Post common stock for every two shares of Ralcorp common stock held on Jan. 30.

In connection with the transactions, Ralcorp said it has received $775 million and expects to receive an additional $125 million, which the company said will be used “to reduce debt, aggressively pursue private-brand acquisitions and pursue additional share repurchases under the company’s remaining share repurchase authorization of approximately five million shares.”

Additionally, Ralcorp provided item-specific guidance for its private-brand business for the year ending Sept. 30, 2012. Excluding amounts related to Post, Ralcorp said it expects depreciation and amortization expense in the year ending Sept. 30 to total between $205 million to $210 million, capital expenditures between $190 million to $205 million and weighted average number of shares outstanding of between 56 million to 56.5 million. Immediately following completion of the separation Ralcorp said its cash balance will total between $130 million to $150 million, while total debt will total between $1.95 billion to $1.97 billion.