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Hormel Snaps Up Burke

It buys a meatball maker.

Hormel (HRL) - Get Hormel Foods Corporation (HRL) Report agreed to buy closely held cooked-meat purveyor Burke for $110 million.

Austin, Minn.-based Hormel said it expects Burke to produce annual net sales of $125 million and expects the deal to be accretive to its fiscal 2008 earnings.

Burke manufactures and markets pizza toppings and other fully cooked meat products primarily for restaurants, food-service establishments and manufacturers of frozen entrees and appetizers. Product lines include traditional pizza meat toppings, meatballs, Mexican meat fillings and breakfast meats.

"The cultural similarities between Hormel Foods and Burke Corp. made the decision to move forward with this transaction an easy one," said Bill Burke Jr. "Our new relationship with Hormel Foods will allow us to continue, and even strengthen, our focus on customers and fellow Team Members, who consistently produce high quality products."

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Burke operates its main facility in Nevada, Iowa, and another in Ames, Iowa. These facilities increase Hormel Foods' production capabilities of fully-cooked meat products and pizza toppings.

Burke was established in 1974 by William J. Burke Sr. and has 239,000 square feet of production capacity. As part of Hormel Foods' Refrigerated Foods business segment, Burke will continue to be run by Bill Burke Jr.