AUSTIN, MINN. — Hormel Foods Corp. has closed its acquisition of Applegate Farms, L.L.C. and its Applegate brand for $775 million.
Hormel announced the proposed acquisition of the Bridgewater, N.J.-based company in May.
Jeffrey M. Ettinger, chairman and chief executive officer of Hormel Foods, expressed the company’s desire to branch into the growing organic market during a conference call with financial analysts May 27.
“… More and more consumers, especially younger consumers, are gravitating toward wanting natural and organic items,” Mr. Ettinger said. “If you wanted to be ultimately a player or a purveyor of those types of items toward the broad set of consumers, you have to figure out a way to get into the space. Your choices then are can you build it yourself, or can you team up with somebody who already has a head start? So that’s really what we’re doing here.”
Applegate is a leading brand in the natural and organic value-added prepared meats category and will operate as a stand-alone subsidiary in Hormel’s Refrigerated Foods segment.Hormel projects Applegate’s 2015 annual sales to be about $340 million.