Canadian Packaging

Hillshire Brands buys Pinnacle Foods for $6.6-billion

By Canadian Packaging Staff   

General acquisition Hillshire Brands Company major grocery brand acquisition Pinnacle Foods Sara Lee Corportation

Hillshire’s third company acquisition in less than a year, gives it a larger presence in grocery stores.

The Hillshire Brands Company has announced it has purchased Pinnacle Foods for approximately $4.3-billion, but including debt assumption makes the deal valued at $6.6-billion.

The combined company will operate under the Hillshire Brands name and will be headquartered in Chicago with Sean Connolly serving as both president and chief executive officer.

Hillshire Brands Company is a leader in branded foods, generating annual sale of nearly $4-billion with 9,000 employees. Formerly known as Sara Lee Corportation, Hillshire Brands’ portfolio includes: Jimmy Dean, Ball Park, Hillshire Farm, State Fair, Sara Lee frozen bakery and Chef Pierre pies, as well as artisanal brands AidellsGallo Salame and Golden Island Jerky.

Pinnacle Foods says some 85 percent of its brands can be found in the average American household. It has three divisions: Duncan Hines Grocery; Birds Eye Frozen; and a Specialty Foods. All told, brands under Pinnacle include: Armour, Bernsetin’s, Brooks, Dincan Hines, Log Cabin, Mrs. Butterworth’s; Vlasic; Aunt Jemima, Bird’s Eye, Celeste, Hungry Man, Mrs. Paul’s and more.


“The combination of Hillshire Brands and Pinnacle Foods brings together two highly complementary organizations with strong brands, skilled employees and lean cost structures,” says Connolly in a press release. “The acquisition creates a leading branded food company with enhanced scale, reach, and capabilities while providing margin expansion and strong EPS accretion.  The new Hillshire Brands will have a strengthened position in frozen foods, new opportunities in the center store for our brands and in refrigerated for Pinnacle Foods’ brands.  We believe our increased scale combined with a more diversified portfolio will deliver strong, consistent cash flows.  This will enable us to continue to invest in our brands, enhance our portfolio, pursue value accretive M&A and deliver significant long-term value to our shareholders.”

The deal is expected to close by September of 2014.


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