U.S. News

Blackstone to Buy Pinnacle Foods for $2.16 Billion


Pinnacle Foods Group, the privately held owner of Duncan Hines baking mixes, Hungry Man, Swanson frozen dinners and Vlasic pickles, has agreed to be acquired by a group led by the buyout specialist Blackstone Group in a deal the companies valued at about $2.16 billion.

Former Kraft Foods Chief Executive Roger Deromedi will become chairman when the deal closes, the announcement said.

Pinnacle's brands also include Log Cabin and Mrs. Buttersworth's syrups, Armour canned meat, Lender's bagels and Aunt Jemima breakfast foods.

Under the deal, a Blackstone affiliate is expected to combine with Pinnacle's direct owner, Crunch Holding Corp.

Pinnacle is jointly owned by affiliates of J.P. Morgan Partners LLC (now known as CCMP Capital Advisors, LLC), J.W. Childs Associates, L.P., CDM Group and by former bondholders of Aurora Foods Inc.

CDM Group is an investment company controlled by Pinnacle Foods Chairman C. Dean Metropoulos.

The boards of Pinnacle, Crunch and Crunch Equity Holding LLC have approved the transaction.

Pinnacle employs more than 3,000 workers, owns seven manufacturing facilities in the United States, and generates approximately $2.1 billion in annual gross sales.

The acquisition is expected to close in the first half of the year, subject to customary closing conditions.