General Mills has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Tyson Foods’ pet treats business for $1.2 billion in cash in a transaction that provides an estimated tax benefit of $225 million, equating to an effective purchase price of $975 million, company officials reported. The business includes the Nudges, Top Chews and True Chews brands.
“This acquisition advances our accelerate strategy and further reshapes our portfolio for growth by adding an attractive business to our fast-growing pet platform,” said Jeff Harmening, chairman and CEO at General Mills. “Today’s announcement reinforces our commitment to using all capital allocation levers—including investment in the business, dividend growth, strategic acquisitions and share repurchases—to drive top-tier shareholder returns over the long term.”
Tyson Foods’ pet treats portfolio generated more than $240 million in net sales in the 12 months ended April 3, 2021. As part of the acquisition, General Mills is also acquiring a manufacturing facility in Independence, Iowa.
“Pet food is a high-growth category, fueled by the humanization of pets, a trend that has only increased during the pandemic,” said Bethany Quam, General Mills group president, pet segment. “By adding these trusted pet treat products to our portfolio, we are strengthening our position in this attractive category. This acquisition is highly complementary to our existing business, combining Blue’s leading position in natural pet food with Nudges, Top Chews and True Chews strong portfolio of natural meat treats for pets. We’re excited for the opportunity to provide pet parents with more ways to feed and treat their pets like family.”
Tyson Foods’ pet treats business and the approximately 300 team members involved in it will become part of General Mills after the sale is completed.
“We’re proud of the tremendous success of this business and the diligent work by our team to meet growing demand for high quality pet treats,” said Noelle O’Mara, group president of prepared foods for Tyson Foods. “We believe the time is right to transition these great brands to an established pet foods business where they will complement their existing portfolio.”
General Mills intends to fund the acquisition with cash on hand and short-term borrowing. The transaction is expected to be modestly accretive to General Mills earnings in the first 12 months following completion, excluding transaction and integration expenses. The company expects the transaction to close in the first quarter of fiscal 2022, subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions.
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