Conagra Food (NYSE:CAG)
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ConAgra Foods Inc. (CAG) has agreed to buy Odom's Tennessee Pride, the second-largest maker of frozen breakfast sandwiches in the U.S., for an undisclosed amount, continuing an acquisition spree of smaller food companies.
Odom's has annual sales of more than $190 million and about 750 employees. The company also makes refrigerated breakfast sandwiches and sausages. The deal, expected to close in the next 45 days, also includes Odom's headquarters office in Madison, Tenn., and facilities in Little Rock, Ark., and Dickson, Tenn.
ConAgra sees Odom's products complementing its existing frozen foods business that includes Banquet and Healthy Choice frozen meals. ConAgra has been looking to buy food companies that sell products similar to ones it already sells.
The acquisition is part of ConAgra's strategy to put to use its cash on hand, which stood at $640 million at the end of its fiscal third quarter. In addition to buying back shares, ConAgra it looking also looking to acquire companies that boost its international footprint or ones that expand its private-label business.
Odom's is ConAgra's third acquisition in the past year, following the November purchase of National Pretzel Co., a maker of private-label pretzels, for $301.9 million, in November, and the March deal for Del Monte Canada, which sells Del Monte branded packaged fruit, fruit snacks and vegetables in Canada, for $185 million, plus assumed liabilities.
ConAgra shares were unchanged in late trading. They closed up 1% Tuesday at $26.12 but are still down 1.1% year-to-date.
-By Paul Ziobro, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2194; firstname.lastname@example.org