Post: Michael Foods, Egg and Dairy Distributor, Bought By Cereal Maker

Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 02:19 PM

By Michael Mullins

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Post Holdings will purchase Michael Foods, an egg product processor and distributor, for $2.45 billion, signaling an apparent move by the cereal maker to gain a foothold in the ever-growing health foods market.

The acquisition was announced Thursday and is said to be Post Holdings' largest-ever deal, Reuters reported.

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"This acquisition is exactly what we look for in an investment. We are extremely impressed with the job Jim and his team have done and we look forward to continuing to build this substantial business with them," Post's chairman and CEO Bill Stiritz said in a statement.

Based out of Minn., Michael Foods, which is known for such brands as Papetti's, All Whites, Better 'n Eggs, and Simply Potatoes, posted an operating profit of $163.9 million in 2013 — up 22 percent from a year earlier.

According to Post Holdings, maker of Post Raisin Bran, Post Shredded Wheat, and Honey Bunches of Oats among many other cereals, Michael Foods will continue to be managed by its existing executive team led by chief executive Jim Dwyer, the Agence France-Presse reported.

"This is an exciting time for the entire Michael Foods team and clearly demonstrates the strength of our brands, the value of our deep customer relationships and the dedication of our employees," Dwyer said in a statement Thursday. "We believe our business will benefit from Post’s portfolio management approach and from our continued focus on the breakfast daypart, expanding egg consumption to all dayparts, and delivering convenient meal and snack choices to consumers."

GS Capital Partners, a private equity unit of Goldman Sachs, owns 80 percent of Michael Foods, which it paid $1.7 billion for in 2010. Thomas H. Lee Partners, another private equity firm, owns the remaining 20 percent, according to Reuters.

According to AFP, Tyson Foods had also expressed interest in acquiring Michael Foods while Post Holdings was in negotiations to acquire the company. When news of the acquisition was reported, Post Holdings stock gained 5.6 percent in midday trade on the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday.

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