(CAG) ConAgra Foods Closes Brand Acquisition

ConAgra Foods, Inc., (CAG) recently announced the completion of its acquisition of Home Menu frozen meals brands–Bertolli® and P.F. Chang’s® from Unilever plc (UL).  The deal closed for a total cash consideration of $267 million. Such a cash consideration during the conclusion of the deal, however, is subject to adjustments.

The buy-out was announced on July 30, 2012, in an acquisition agreement between the two parties. The frozen meals businesses acquisition now includes a license for use of the Bertolli brand name in favor of ConAgra. Also, the acquisition entails transfer of Unilever’s existing license for use of Home Menu brand name of P.F. Chang to the food maker.

Such strategic acquisitions, which comprehensively embrace the principal businesses along with the use of licenses, add value to ConAgra; helping the company further expand its portfolio of Marie Callender’s®, Banquet®, Healthy Choice®, Slim Jimand Kid Cuisine®.

ConAgra Foods Inc., one of North America’s leading food companies, with its wide array of brands in almost 97% of America’s households; serves grocery retailers, restaurants and other foodservice establishments. Thus, the company’s strategic acquisitions fit in well with the existing capabilities of ConAgra Foods as it expands its business portfolio and presence across the food market. Moreover, its promotional campaigns, strong sales force, dedicated customer-serving teams, and category leadership continue to add depth and dynamism to its existing product lines.

The company primarily competes with HJ Heinz Co. (HNZ) and Kraft Foods Inc. (KFT). The current Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged at 36 cents for the company. We have a Neutral recommendation on ConAgra over the long term. Also, ConAgra has a Zacks #2 Rank, implying a short-term (1-3 months) Buy rating.

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