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ConAgra's bid is substantially higher than the $86 a share offer ConAgra announced May 4. Ralcorp had rejected that bid and has been announcing a series of moves this summer, such as the spin-off to shareholders of Post Foods, and the purchase of Sara Lee's private label refrigerated dough business, designed to push away ConAgra.
“Our board of directors has determined that the separation of Post Foods from Ralcorp will better allow each company to focus on strategies specific to their particular businesses, thereby unlocking additional significant value for our shareholders,” Ralcorp said in a letter sent to ConAgra’s CEO Gary Rodkin and signed by Ralcorp Chairman William Stiritz Friday. “We are firmly committed to this plan and therefore, we have unanimously determined that we have nothing further to discuss,” Stiritz told Rodkin in the letter which Ralcorp made public in a press release.
By spinning off Post, Ralcorp is jettisoning the unit with the highest margins in the company, according to Ralcorp earnings data released in early August. Ralcorp on Aug. 9 reported net earnings of $28.3 million for the quarter ended