OMAHA, Neb. and ST. LOUIS—ConAgra Foods, Inc., completed its $6.8 billion acquisition of Ralcorp Holdings, Inc., on Jan. 29. The deal positions ConAgra Foods as the largest private-label packaged food business in North America, with approximately $4.5 billion in combined annual private-label sales.
Commenting on the deal, ConAgra Foods CEO Gary Rodkin said: “We are excited to have closed the transaction and welcome our talented new team members from Ralcorp to the ConAgra Foods family. We are now in a position to begin the most substantial aspects of integration planning and look forward to learning from and working with our new colleagues. This important acquisition reinforces and accelerates our ‘Recipe for Growth’ strategy, which also includes growth in our core business and adjacencies, and expansion internationally."
ConAgra Foods will remain headquartered in Omaha with Rodkin at the helm. Kevin Hunt, former CEO of Ralcorp, will be a consultant to ConAgra Foods for the next 12 months. Richard Koulouris, vice president and president of the Ralcorp Food Group, and Charles Huber, vice president and president of the Ralcorp Frozen Bakery business, will report directly to Rodkin, effective immediately. ConAgra Foods has established an integration team, led by a Steering Committee of senior leaders from ConAgra Foods and Ralcorp, and staffed by a full support network of dedicated resources.
According to industry analysts, private label now represents 18% of sales in the packaged food market in the United States, and 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.