Berkeley, Calif.-based Annie’s is expected to join General Mills’ US natural and organic products portfolio, which includes the Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen, Larabar and Food Should Taste Good brands. Net sales for these General Mills brands totaled approximately $330 million in fiscal 2014 ended May 25.
“This acquisition will significantly expand our presence in the US branded organic and natural foods industry, where sales have been growing at a 12 percent compound rate over the last 10 years,” said Jeff Harmening, executive vice-president and chief operating officer of US Retail at General Mills. “Annie’s competes in a number of attractive food categories, with particular strength in convenient meals and snacks — two of General Mills’ priority platforms.”
General Mills said it intends to fund the acquisition through available credit, and will launch a tender offer within 10 business days to purchase all outstanding shares of Annie’s.
The board of directors of Annie’s unanimously has recommended that stockholders accept the General Mills offer, noting the acquisition will enable Annie’s to enter a new phase of growth and success while maximizing value for stockholders. The transaction consideration represents a 51 percent premium over Annie's 30-day average closing price of $30.47 as of Sept. 5, 2014. Annie's headquarters will stay in Berkeley.
Founded in 1989, Annie’s products are made without artificial flavors, synthetic colors and preservatives regularly used in many conventional packaged foods. Annie’s also sources ingredients so as to avoid synthetic growth hormones and bioengineered food ingredients. The company offers more than 145 products and is present in more than 35,000 retail locations in the US and Canada.