Conagra has sent a letter to the board of Ralcorp making an unsolicited offer to buy the company, according to sources close to the situation.
The approach was made about two months ago, when the premium to the stock price then was said to be "nice." The stock has run up quite a bit since then, which could complicate pricing for a deal.
There are no ongoing discussions between the companies.
Both companies have been plagued by commodity prices — Conagra owns brands like Slim Jim and Chef Boyardee — Ralcorp primarily makes starches like cookies and pasta.
After the failed leveraged buyout of Sara Lee earlier this year, there have been questions surrounding the fate of both Conagra and Ralcorp. This is potentially a move to circumvent that speculation.
Ralcorp shares surged after the announcement. Get Ralcorp quotes here.