Diamond Foods on track to acquire Kettle

by Keith Nunes
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SAN FRANCISCO – Diamond Foods, Inc. has received notice of early termination of the antitrust waiting period for its pending acquisition of Kettle Foods, Inc., Salem, Ore., and now expects the transaction to close by March 31. Due to the expedited process, Diamond Foods raised its earnings guidance.

The company now expects to earn 47c to 50c in earnings per share during the second half of fiscal 2010, compared to the 44c to 48c it initially announced. The new guidance reflects the addition of Kettle operations for four months.

Under the terms of the acquisition agreement, Diamond Foods will pay $615 million in cash for Kettle Foods. Transaction-related costs, estimated to be $29 million, are expected to be recorded during the third quarter of Diamond Foods’ fiscal year.
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