One of Lapeer County's largest employers is set to have a new owner by the end of the year. Vlasic Pickles' parent company, Pinnacle Foods, announced it will be acquired by Conagra Brands, Inc., for $10.9 billion in cash and stock.
In 2012 Pinnacle opted to close Vlasic Pickles in Delaware and make the Black Corners Road facility its flagship plant for pickle production. The plant produces more than 150 million jars of pickle products annually.
According to a press release, "The acquisition of Pinnacle Foods is an exciting next step for Conagra Brands. After three years of transformative work to create a pure-play, branded food company, we are well-positioned to accelerate the next wave of change" said Sean Connolly, president and chief executive officer of Conagra Brands. "The addition of Pinnacle Foods' leading brands in the attractive frozen foods and snacks categories will create a tremendous opportunity for us to further leverage our proven innovation approach, brand-building capabilities, and deep customer relationships. With greater scale across leading, iconic brands, an unwavering focus on driving profitable growth, and a strong balance sheet and cash flow, we are creating a tremendous platform to drive meaningful shareholder value."
Pinnacle Foods' portfolio of frozen, refrigerated and shelf-stable products includes such well-known brands as Birds Eye, Duncan Hines, Earth Balance, EVOL, Erin's, Gardein, Glutino, Hawaiian Kettle Style Potato Chips, Hungry-Man, Log Cabin, Tim's Cascade Snacks, Udi's, Vlasic and Wish-Bone.
The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year subject to the approval of Pinnacle Foods shareholders, the receipt of regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.