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Bellisio To Buy Overhill Farms

Bellisio Foods, the third-largest producer of frozen entrees in the U.S., announced Wednesday that it would buy Overhill Farms for about $80.9 million in cash.

Overhill Farms is a producer of prepared frozen foods for private label, foodservice and branded retail customers including Safeway, Target, Panda Restaurant Group and American Airlines.

Overhill also sells frozen foods under the Boston Market brand in a co-manufacturing and distribution agreement with Bellisio that the companies have had for two years.

“After conducting an extensive review of potential strategic alternatives, our board concluded that this all-cash transaction was the best path to maximizing value for our shareholders,” Overhill Farms CEO James Rudis said in a news release announcing the sale. “Additionally, in the course of our partnership on the Boston Market brand, we have seen that Bellisio is a company very similar to ours in terms of their business philosophy, corporate culture, focus on quality and customer service, and their entrepreneurial spirit.”

“We believe that Overhill’s brand portfolio and West Coast manufacturing presence enables us to unlock meaningful synergies and better serve existing and new customers through expanded capabilities and a broader offering,” Bellisio CEO Joel Conner said in the release. “We look forward to working with Overhill Farm’s employees and customers as we incorporate this business into Bellisio.”

The deal is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013.

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