Post Holdings buys Bob Evans Farms

by Monica Watrous
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BEF
Post Holdings will acquire Bob Evans for in a transaction valued at approximately $1.5 billion.
 
ST. LOUIS — Post Holdings, Inc. said it will acquire Bob Evans Farms, Inc. for $77 per share in a transaction valued at approximately $1.5 billion. The combination is expected to expand Post’s presence in higher-growth packaged foods categories.

Based in New Albany, Ohio, Bob Evans is a producer and distributor of refrigerated potato, pasta and vegetable side dishes, pork sausage, and refrigerated and frozen products under the Bob Evans, Owens, Country Creek and Pineland Farms brands. The company also has a growing food service business that represents approximately 35 percent of volume.

Earlier this year, Bob Evans Farms sold its restaurant business to Golden Gate Capital following mounting investor pressure.

 
The addition of Bob Evans is expected to strengthen Post’s footprint in food service and is highly complementary to its portfolio of ready-to-eat cereal brands, including Pebbles, Honey Bunches of Oats, Malt-O-Meal and Weetabix; active nutrition brands, including PowerBar, Premier Protein and Dymatize; and value-add egg, potato and cheese brands, including Crystal Farms, Better’n Eggs, Simply Potatoes and All Whites.

Rob
Rob Vitale, president and CEO of Post Holdings

“We have enormous respect for Bob Evans’ success and are excited about the growth opportunities this combination will create,” said Rob Vitale, president and CEO of Post Holdings. “Combining with Bob Evans expands our portfolio of top brands and gives Post a leading position in the perimeter of the store. We look forward to welcoming the talented Bob Evans team to Post and working to create a successful future together.”

The transaction was approved by the boards of directors of both companies and is expected to be completed early next year. Upon closing of the deal, Post plans to combine its existing Michael Foods Group refrigerated egg, potato and cheese business with Bob Evans to establish a refrigerated retail business within the company under the leadership of Mike Townsley, Bob Evans’ current president and CEO Jim Dwyer who will remain in his current role as president and CEO of the Michael Foods Group, managing the commercial food service egg, potato and pasta businesses, which will include the Bob Evans food service business.

The purchase price represents a 15 percent premium on the 30-day volume weighted average of Bob Evans shares. Post management expects the acquisition to be immediately accretive to Post’s top-line growth.

Mike
Mike Townsley, Bob Evans' president and CEO

“We are pleased to join the Post family, combining our complementary portfolios to the benefit of all of our stakeholders,” Townsley said. “This transaction creates enhanced and certain value for our stockholders, while providing further resources and reach to deliver the Bob Evans experience to a broader audience of consumers and retailers. We are very proud of our 70-year history as a beloved brand and eager to begin this next chapter of growth.”

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