In a $265 million deal, ConAgra Foods has agreed to acquire Unilever's North American frozen foods business.
The deal includes a license for the use of the Bertolli brand name for frozen foods and the transfer of Unilever's existing license with P.F. Chang's for use of the P.F. Chang's Home Menu frozen foods brand name. The frozen brands' annual sales currently approach $300 million.
The deal does not include a Unilever facility in Kentucky where the Bertolli and P.F. Chang's frozen meals are currently produced, and Unilever is to retain the Bertolli trademark and continue its existing pasta sauce business, with manufacturing operations remaining in Kentucky.
ConAgra said the acquisition will expand its frozen portfolio (which includes the Banquet, Marie Callender's, Healthy Choice and Kid Cuisine brands), and help it expand into adjacent categories, build its private-label business, and continue to expand its international business.
This is ConAgra's fifth acquisition in 12 months. The others included National Pretzel Co., Del Monte Canada, Odom's Tennessee Pride and the pita-chip business of Kangaroo Brands.
Unilever, which has a global strategy to exit the frozen foods business, previously divested its frozen foods business in Europe.