ConAgra Foods and Ralcorp announced Tuesday that the largest private label food manufacturer in North America has been created.
ConAgra said it successfully closed the deal, one completed nearly two months ahead of schedule. The combined company has 36,000 employees and annual sales of about $18 billion, the companies said in a news release. ConAgra will control a private label food company worth about $4.5 billion a year.
“We are excited to have closed the transaction and welcome our talented new team members from Ralcorp to the ConAgra Foods family,” ConAgra CEO Gary Rodkin said in a news release. “We are now in a position to begin the most substantial aspects of integration planning and look forward to learning from and working with our new colleagues. This important acquisition reinforces and accelerates our ‘Recipe for Growth’ strategy, which also includes growth in our core business and adjacencies, and expansion internationally.”
The deal brings to an end the tenure of Ralcorp CEO Kevin Hunt, who will remain a consultant to the company for $1 million over the next 12 months. Former Ralcorp division presidents Richard Koulouris and Charles Huber will report to Rodkin, and ConAgra said it established an integration team to oversee the transition.
“Today’s acquisition of Ralcorp provides us with the right mix to deliver greater value and innovation to our customers and consumers, and sustainable, profitable growth to our shareholders,” Rodkin said. “While our private brand business has just grown significantly, we remain very focused on our other business segments and are committed to delivering results across the company.”