Food Business News - November 17, 2015 - (Page 22)

TreeHouse Foods to acquire ConAgra's Private Brands business OAK BROOK, ILL. - The benefits of TreeHouse Foods' proposed acquisition of ConAgra Foods' Private Brands business will take time to manifest. The structure of the deal may be described as a "carve out," which means TreeHouse is buying a business that does not include many of the functional support capabilities, such as I.T., that normally would be part of a standalone company. As such, TreeHouse management expects the integration to take as long as two years to complete and does not expect to see any earnings accretion until year two. In year one, management expects to experience earnings dilution in the range of 20c to 35c in adjusted earnings per share during 2016. Earnings accretion in the range of 55c to 70c per share is expected in year two. The company said it will incur overhead costs as it 22 FOODBUSINESS NEWS ® adds employees to take on such corporate responsibilities as treasury, tax, legal and human resources. "If we can be successful in quickly restoring customer satisfaction through improved customer service, quality, and product innovation, and realize the benefits of implementing our cost management strategies throughout the supply chain, we could see significantly better accretion by year three. However, it's too soon to commit to higher numbers," said Dennis Riordan, TreeHouse's chief financial officer, in a conference call with financial analysts on Nov. 2 to discuss the transaction. TreeHouse announced that day it had entered into an agreement with ConAgra Foods to acquire most of ConAgra's Private Brands business for approximately $2.7 billion. For that price, TreeHouse is acquiring a business that may be described as going backwards since ConAgra acquired it from Ralcorp Holdings in 2013 for approximately $6.8 billion. ConAgra's Private Brands business had sales of approximately $3.6 billion for the 12 months ended May 31. Once the acquisition is completed, TreeHouse Foods will have estimated sales of $7 billion, employ more than 16,000 and operate more than 50 manufacturing plants. The boards of directors of both companies have approved the transaction, which is subject to antitrust regulations and other closing conditions. "So, what we see here is a business that we think is starting to hit the bottom, and we think that we've got the opportunity to come in and help get the directions set in private label to see the improvements that we think they're capable of, and begin to get the restoration of that business," Mr. Riordan said. "The point though, when I gave the guidance and why it was a little light, at least to start, is you have to remember that in private label, we're generally working with 9-month, 12-month product lifecycle. So we can come in, we can redirect, we can really put some emphasis on service and new products and innovation and reformulations, but the reality is, it's a year before it starts to manifest and two years before it really starts to take off." Sam K. Reed, chairman, president and chief executive officer of TreeHouse Foods, said one of the issues ConAgra ran into as it attempted to combine its branded and private brands business was the ability to fill orders and get product into stores. "That is really the essence of the issue that has plagued this business, and we have begun to see once the Private Brands team was established in late June, that there's been a substantial improvement in that regard," he said. "So that's the fundamental issue that you have to deal with here." Key product categories in ConAgra's Private Brands business include snacks (which had $1.3 billion in annual sales, according to TreeHouse Foods), bakery ($650 million), pasta ($500 million), cereal ($450 million), bars ($400 million) and condiments ($250 million). By comparison, in fiscal 2014, ended Dec. 31, 2014, TreeHouse Foods' largest product category was beverages, with approximately $500 million in sales. Salad Continued on Page 26 November 17, 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food Business News - November 17, 2015

Food Business News - November 17, 2015
Starbucks becoming a ‘food destination’
Sugar, corn sweetener court battle under way
Beverage Business News - Redesigning fruit juice
Table of Contents
Web Contents
Editorial - Climate change takes center stage in Paris
Hain earnings surge; U.S. grocery sales disappoint
Local promotions set to sizzle as a menu trend
Smucker focuses on redefining the coffee experience
Kraft Heinz integration showing progress
Credit Suisse lowers Dean Foods’ stock to ‘underperform’
Dean Foods betting big on DairyPure brand
Food waste reduction 2.0
TreeHouse Foods to acquire ConAgra’s Private Brands business
Efficiency gains drive TreeHouse earnings
Seneca acquires largest maraschino cherries maker
Popchips names new c.e.o.
Amazon dips foot into food delivery in L.A.
Schwan simplifying ingredient list across entire product line
Washington - Producer groups begin to take sides on T.P.P.
Ingredient Innovations - High-oleic options
Health and Wellness - Targeting bone and joint health
New Menu Items
Ingredient Market Trends - U.S.D.A.’s Crop Production and WASDE reports bearish
Ingredient Markets
Supplier Innovations and News
Ad Index

Food Business News - November 17, 2015