MINNEAPOLIS – General Mills plans to acquire Tyson Foods Inc.’s pet food business for $1.2 billion. As part of the acquisition, General Mills also will acquire a manufacturing plant in Independence, Iowa.

Tyson Foods’ pet food business had sales of more than $240 million during the 12 months ended April 3, according to the company. General Mills said the transaction will provide an estimated tax benefit of $225 million, equating to an effective purchase price of $975 million.

General Mills entered the pet food category in 2018 when it acquired Blue Buffalo Pet Products, Inc. for approximately $8 billion.

“Pet food is a high-growth category, fueled by the humanization of pets, a trend that has only increased during the pandemic,” said Bethany Quam, General Mills group president, Pet segment. “By adding these trusted pet treat products to our portfolio, we are strengthening our position in this attractive category.

“This acquisition is highly complementary to our existing business, combining Blue’s leading position in natural pet food with Nudges, Top Chews, and True Chews strong portfolio of natural meat treats for pets.”

Tyson Foods, Springdale, Ark., entered the pet food market with the launch of True Chews in 2010. It expanded to include the Nudges brand in 2011 and Top Chews in 2012. The business employs approximately 300.

“We believe the time is right to transition these great brands to an established pet foods business where they will complement their existing portfolio,” said Noelle O’Mara, group president of Prepared Foods for Tyson Foods.

General Mills said the transaction is expected to be modestly accretive to its earnings in the first 12 months following completion.