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Mizkan completes purchase of Unilever's U.S. pasta sauce business

June 30, 2014

Japanese food manufacturer Mizkan Holdings Co. on Tuesday said it has completed its purchase of the U.S. pasta sauce brands of Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant Unilever.

The $2.15 billion (about 218 billion yen) deal gives Mizkan the Ragu brand, which holds the top U.S. market share, as well as premium brand Bertolli.

Mizkan, based in Handa in central Japan's Aichi Prefecture, said it will operate the brands under a new company called R & B Foods.

Mizkan President Kenji Hasegawa told a news conference in Nagoya his firm will get behind marketing the brands and developing new products.

Hasegawa added that the growing Hispanic population in North American markets is positive for pasta product sales.

Mizkan took out a $2.2 billion (about 220 billion yen) loan last Friday from four major Japanese banks -- the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Mizuho Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. and the governmental Development Bank of Japan, in order to complete the purchase.

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Source: Japan Economic Newswire

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