PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Pinnacle Foods has agreed to acquire the Wish-Bone salad dressings business from Unilver P.L.C. for $580 million.
“The acquisition of Wish-Bone is a perfect fit with our successful strategy of ‘Reinvigorating iconic brands,’” said Bob Gamgort, chief executive officer for Pinnacle Foods. “In addition to enabling significant cost synergies and tax benefits, the transaction enhances our ability to offer consumers meal solutions and recipe ideas across our broad portfolio of brands. We are excited to apply our innovation capabilities to this great brand.”
The transaction is expected to close late in the third quarter or early in the fourth quarter. It includes the range of liquid and dry-mix salad dressing flavors sold under the Wish-Bone and Western brands. Annual sales for the brands being acquired are about $190 million. Pinnacle expects the acquisition to be immediately accretive.
Pinnacle Foods manufactures products under the Duncan Hines Grocery Division, including Duncan Hines baking mixes and frostings, Vlasic pickles, Log Cabin syrup and Armour canned meats. The Birds Eye Frozen Division includes Birds Eye and Birds Eye Steamfresh frozen vegetable lines, Van de Kamp’s frozen prepared seafood, Hungry-Man frozen entrees and more.
Unilver has been selling various businesses in recent years. The shedding of businesses began in December 2011, when Unilever completed the sale of its Mrs. Dash, Molly McButter, Sugar Twin, Baker’s Joy, Static Guard and Kleen Guard brands to Parsippany, N.J.-based B&G Foods, Inc. for $325 million in cash. The shedding continued in September 2012, when Unilever completed the sale of its Bertolli and P.F. Chang’s Home Menu frozen meals business to Omaha-based ConAgra Foods, Inc. for $267 million. In early 2013, Unilever also agreed to sell its Skippy peanut butter brand to Austin, Minn.-based Hormel Foods Corp. for $700 million.
“Wish-Bone is an iconic brand and the No. 1 Italian dressings brand in the U.S.,” said Kees Kruythoff, president of Unilever North America. “We believe the potential of both the Wish-Bone and Western brands can now be more fully realized with Pinnacle Foods. As we continue to shape our portfolio to deliver sustainable growth for Unilever, this change will give us the focus to drive growth behind our core foods portfolio.”