Kevin J. Hunt, chief executive officer and president of Ralcorp, said, “We are proud of Ralcorp’s track record of shareholder value creation and view this transaction as the culmination of those efforts. This combination delivers immediate and compelling cash value to our shareholders and benefits to our customers and employees. We believe the two companies are a great fit, and our employees will benefit as part of a larger diversified organization with the necessary scale and resources to be a leader in today’s rapidly evolving marketplace. On behalf of the Ralcorp Board and management team, we thank our dedicated employees for their continued hard work, which has enabled us to grow Ralcorp to a position of strength with our many private label offerings across both retail and commercial channels. We look forward to joining with ConAgra Foods to complete this exciting transaction and capitalize on our future growth opportunities.”
Strong Strategic Rationale
The acquisition of Ralcorp adds to ConAgra Foods’ existing private label business of approximately $950 million to create the largest private label packaged food business in North America, with approximately $4.5 billion in combined annual private label sales. Ralcorp fits well with ConAgra Foods’ Recipe for Growth strategy, set 18 months ago, which includes expansion in the private label segment, growth in its core business and adjacencies, and expansion internationally. According to industry analysts, private label now represents 18% of sales in the packaged food market in the U.S. and has consistently demonstrated growth in excess of the overall food market over time. ConAgra Foods’ combination with Ralcorp creates an enhanced platform that will allow ConAgra Foods to capitalize on, and contribute to, that compelling long-term growth trend while generating significant efficiencies.
Ralcorp has strengthened its leadership position in private label through recent strategic acquisitions and enhanced customer relationships. The two companies’ portfolios are a complementary fit, with very little overlap in terms of offerings. Ralcorp’s leading private label offerings include cereal, pasta, crackers, jellies and jams, syrups, frozen waffles, and more. Ralcorp’s total annual sales of approximately $4.3 billion also include a branded and commercial / foodservice portfolio.