Private Label Buyer

ConAgra to Buy Frozen Meals From Unilever

July 31, 2012

Omaha, Neb.-based ConAgra Foods said Monday that it would buy the Bertolli and P.F. Chang’s frozen brands from Unilever for $265 million.

The purchase is the fifth for ConAgra in the past 12 months, and the company said in a news release that the deal would support its current growth strategy, “which includes growing its core businesses and expanding into adjacent categories, building its private label business, and continuing to develop its international presence.”

ConAgra said annual sales of the brands approach $300 million, with each being “leaders in the frozen multi-serve meals segment.” The deal is expected to close within 30-60 days, and although the current Unilever facility where the meals are produced was not included in the sale, key manufacturing equipment will be relocated to an existing ConAgra facility as part of the purchase.

“Bertolli and P.F. Chang’s multi-serve frozen meals are excellent additions to our portfolio,” ConAgra CEO Gary Rodkin said in the release. “We’ll use our extensive frozen food and innovation capabilities to grow these great brands even further.”

Rodkin said the purchase paired well with other recent acquisitions, such as Odom’s Tennessee Pride brand.

“Just as our acquisition earlier this calendar year of Odom’s Tennessee Pride extended our reach into frozen breakfasts, the addition of Bertolli and P.F. Chang’s brands can bring us new consumers and new eating occasions,” Rodkin said.