ConAgra's Pretzel Logic

Published in CSP Daily News

Acquiring private-label pretzel manufacturer National Pretzel Co.

OMAHA, Neb. -- ConAgra Foods Inc. has agreed to acquire National Pretzel Co., Lancaster, Pa., from Brookstone Holdings. National Pretzel makes private-label pretzels in a variety of forms, including rods, sticks, braids and twists for a variety of customers, including many of the top grocery retailers in America.

Financial terms of the transaction, expected to close within 30 days and subject to customary closing conditions, were not disclosed.

National Pretzel has posted net sales growth of 7% annually over the last three years, with total net sales approaching $200 million. The company has a leading position in the supply of private-label pretzel items, and also posts sales under the HK Anderson and Shultz labels, both of which were included in the agreement.

Also included in the agreement are three bakeries located in Lancaster, Pa., Hanover, Pa., and Visalia, Calif. More than 700 National Pretzel employees are expected to join ConAgra Foods when the transaction closes.

"Acquiring National Pretzel Co. is consistent with our strategies for growth, which include expanding our private label footprint and growing in strategic adjacencies," said Gary Rodkin, CEO of ConAgra Foods. "National Pretzel is a leading private-label manufacturer with a strong team in an attractive category. We are excited about its future growth potential and are confident we can profitably leverage our innovation and supply chain capabilities as we integrate our businesses after close of the transaction."

ConAgra Foods is one of North America's leading food companies, with brands including Banquet, Chef Boyardee, Egg Beaters, Hebrew National, Hunt's, Marie Callender's, Orville Redenbacher's, PAM, Peter Pan, Reddi-wip, Slim Jim, Snack Pack and more in grocery, convenience, mass merchandise and club stores. ConAgra Foods also has a strong business-to-business presence, supplying frozen potato and sweet potato products as well as other vegetable, spice and grain products to a variety of restaurants, foodservice operators and commercial customers.