Ralcorp Boosts Defense Against ConAgra Bid

Ralcorp, the owner of Post cereals, has hired two proxy solicitors as it plays defense against unsolicited bids from rival ConAgra, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Ralcorp retained Georgeson and Mackenzie Partners against the possibility that ConAgra could go hostile. ConAgra last week hired Innisfree M&A as proxy solicitor, a signal it was willing to take its public cash offer of $86 a share directly to Ralcorp shareholders.

Also on Ralcorp’s team: Credit Suisse and resident proxy expert, Chris Young, who leads the firm’s contested situations group.

Ralcorp has twice spurned bids from ConAgra, which first attempted to engage Ralcorp in discussions in late February. The choice to retain Georgeson and Mackenzie Partners rests on the two firms’ successful defense of Target in a proxy fight led by shareholder William Ackman in 2008 and 2009.