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Snack deal: TreeHouse buys Flagstone Foods for $860 million

TreeHouse Foods Incorporated
TreeHouse is buying snack food maker Flagstone Foods for $860 million
The TreeHouse Foods-Flagstone Foods merger is slated to close in 2014's third quarter

TreeHouse Foods Inc. said Monday it is buying snack food maker Flagstone Foods for $860 million in cash to expand into healthy foods.

Flagstone makes private-label healthy snacks and is the No. 1 provider of trail mix and dried fruit, TreeHouse said. The snack company, based in St. Paul, Minn., has 1,365 employees and booked sales of $697 million in its 2013 fiscal year. 

TreeHouse, which makes non-dairy powdered creamers, cereals, sauces and soups, said the acquisition would diversify its private-label offerings. TreeHouse has purchased about six other food companies over the last four years. 

“Flagstone Foods is ideally situated at the intersection of health and wellness, snacking and the perimeter of the store, and represents an attractive new platform for TreeHouse to enter the on-trend, rapidly growing $7.1 billion healthy snacks category,” said Sam K. Reed, TreeHouse chairman and chief executive. 

The Oak Brook, Ill.-based company is purchasing Flagstone from private equity firm Gryphon Investors and other shareholders, and said it expected its annual sales to approach $3.5 billion with the addition of Flagstone.

TreeHouse projects a gain of 24 cents to 28 cents in earnings per share for the first full year after the deal closes in the third quarter. The deal is expected to lower 2014 earnings by about 5 cents to 8 cents per share. 

TreeHouse rose about 1.5% to $81.07 in late-morning trading. 

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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