Ralcorp continues growth; acquires Bloomfield Bakers

by Eric Schroeder
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ST. LOUIS — Ralcorp Holdings, Inc. has signed a definitive agreement to pay $139.6 million for Los Alamitos, Calif.-based Bloomfield Bakers, a manufacturer of nutritional and cereal bars and natural and organic specialty cookies, crackers and cereals. The company’s products are distributed to branded businesses under co-manufacturing arrangements and to private label retail customers.

In addition to Bloomfield, the $139.6 million purchase price includes Bloomfield’s affiliated entity, Lovin Oven, L.L.C.

"We are excited about the addition of Bloomfield Bakers and its superior management team," Ralcorp said. "Bloomfield will allow Ralcorp to expand into the growing nutritional and cereal bar categories and offer Ralcorp the ability to further develop its natural and organic baked offerings."

Founded in 1981, Bloomfield Bakers is operated by Harold Rothman and William Ross, who will remain with the company. The company had net sales of $188 million for the year ended Dec. 31, 2006. Bloomfield’s headquarters and management group will remain in Azusa and Los Alamitos, Calif., where it operates two leased manufacturing facilities and employs approximately 500 full-time employees.

Once acquired, Bloomfield Bakers will become a part of Ralcorp’s Ralston Foods business unit, which is a leader in private label ready-to-eat and hot cereals. The division is part of Ralcorp’s Cereals, Crackers & Cookies reportable segment.

Ralcorp said it expects the transaction, which will close within 30 days, to be slightly accretive during the remainder of its 2007 fiscal year. Ralcorp is financing the acquisition primarily through borrowings under its existing $150 million revolving credit facility.

The purchase of Bloomfield continues an active acquisition period for Ralcorp. In 2006, the company bought Cottage Bakery, Inc., a manufacturer of frozen par-baked bread and frozen dough; and Parco Foods, L.L.C., a Chicago-based manufacturer of cookies. In late 2005, Ralcorp acquired Western Waffles, a Canadian manufacturer of private label frozen griddle products.

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