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ConAgra to Buy International Home Foods

Associated Press

Food conglomerate ConAgra Inc. said it’s buying International Home Foods Inc., the maker of Chef Boyardee pasta products, Pam cooking spray and Gulden’s Mustard, for $1.6 billion in cash and stock. The deal comes amid a flurry of consolidation in the food industry as manufacturers seek to expand their portfolios of brands so they can have more clout with grocers in bargaining for shelf space. Omaha-based ConAgra has annual sales of more than $25 billion and owns companies across the food chain, including meatpacking and fertilizer businesses and about 100 consumer brands, including such well-known names as Butterball, Healthy Choice, Orville Redenbacher and Swiss Miss. International Home Foods, based in Parsippany, N.J., was formed in November 1996 when a group of investors acquired the food business of Madison, N.J.-based American Home Products. Under the deal, International Home Foods shareholders will receive $22 a share, half in cash and half in ConAgra stock. International Home shares jumped $5.25 to close at $20.63 on the New York Stock Exchange. As part of the deal, ConAgra will also assume $1.3 billion of debt.


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