News Column

Ralcorp To Buy Sara Lee's Dough Business

Aug. 9, 2011

Lisa Brown

sara lee logo

Ralcorp Holdings is acquiring the North American private label refrigerated dough business from Sara Lee for $545 million.

St. Louis-based Ralcorp announced the acquisition Tuesday morning and said the deal should close within 60 to 90 days.

Sara Lee's refrigerated dough business has 700 employees and manufacturing facilities in Carrollton, Texas, and Forest Park, Ga. The business unit had more than $300 million in sales in fiscal 2010.

The purchase would boost Ralcorp's portfolio of private label foods, which Ralcorp manufactures and are sold under generic or store brand names. Ralcorp's private label foods include cereal, pasta, crackers, cookies, frozen biscuits and other frozen bread products.

"This transaction will allow Ralcorp to be a private-brand leader in the $1.8 billion refrigerated dough category," Ralcorp's co-CEO and president Kevin Hunt said in a statement.

Last month, Ralcorp announced its plans to spin off its Post Foods business segment, which sells branded cereals, including Honey Bunches of Oats and Grape-Nuts.

Ralcorp is one of the largest publically held companies in St. Louis, with $4 billion in sales last year. The acquisition is Ralcorp's largest since its $1.2 billion purchase of private label pasta maker American Italian Pasta Co. last year.

In May, ConAgra Foods sought to buy Ralcorp for $4.9 billion in May, but its overtures have so far been rejected by Ralcorp's board.

Source: Copyright (c) 2011, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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