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General Mills to add Annie’s to portfolio

BY CSA STAFF

General Mills is in the process of acquiring leading natural and organic food company Annie’s for $46 per share in cash, for a total transaction value of approximately $820 million.

The transaction consideration represents a 51% premium over Annie’s 30-day average closing price of $30.47 as of Sept. 5. Annie’s will continue to be headquartered in Berkeley, California.

“We are excited about this strategic combination, which will enable Annie’s to expand the reach and breadth of our high quality, great tasting organic and natural products, provide new opportunities for our employees, realize greater efficiencies in our operations, and maximize value for our stockholders,” said John Foraker, CEO of Annie’s. “Powerful consumer shifts toward products with simple, organic and natural ingredients from companies that share consumers’ core values show no signs of letting up. Partnering with a company of General Mills’ scale and resources will strengthen our position at the forefront of this trend, enabling us to more rapidly and efficiently expand into new channels and product lines in a rapidly evolving industry environment.”

The Annie’s board of directors has unanimously recommended that Annie’s stockholders accept General Mills’ offer. General Mills will launch a tender offer within 10 business days to purchase all outstanding shares of Annie’s. General Mills’ offer will be subject to the tender of a majority of Annie’s shares and to certain other customary closing conditions including regulatory approval. The transaction is expected to close later in calendar 2014.

“This transaction is a testament to the great team at Annie’s. Together, they have built a highly successful company around the authentic, mission-driven concept that Annie Withey originated 25 years ago,” said Molly Ashby, Annie’s chairperson of the board. “Annie’s is a pioneer of the new generation of company that does well by doing good, generating great value for all stakeholders. This is strategically the right time to pursue this combination because it brings operational, sourcing and distribution capabilities that enable Annie’s to build on its leadership position in the natural and organic market.”

Annie’s financial adviser for the transaction is J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and its legal adviser is Proskauer Rose LLP.

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Dollar Tree, Family Dollar Stores get second information request from FTC

BY Marianne Wilson

Chesapeake, Va. — Dollar Tree Inc. and Family Dollar Stores Inc. announced, as expected, they have received a second request for information from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission in connection with Dollar Tree’s pending $8.5 billion deal to acquire Family Dollar.

The second request was issued under notification requirements of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvement Act of 1976, as amended (“HSR Act”). It means the government-mandated waiting period of the acquisition will be extended until 30 days after the companies have complied with the request.

The two companies said last week that they expected the FTC would issue the second request and that they were confident the deal would be approved by antitrust regulators and that the takeover will be completed as soon as the end of November.

Last week, Family Dollar rejected a higher bid from Dollar General Corp., saying it would be too difficult to get regulatory approval.

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Toys ‘R’ Us names new execs, including supply chain chief

BY Marianne Wilson

Wayne, N.J. – Toys “R” Us on Tuesday announced several executive appointments. The retailer named Debbie Lentz as senior VP, chief supply chain officer, with responsibility for U.S. distribution and customs compliance, global importing and exporting, fleet operations and domestic transportation, reporting to Hank Mullany, president, Toys “R” Us, U.S.

In the role, Lentz oversees inventory planning and allocation as well as e-commerce fulfillment, while driving efforts to significantly improve in-stock levels in-store and online. In addition, she leads logistics strategy development for the company’s international markets and efforts to improve global supply chain efficiencies, reporting in this capacity to Antonio Urcelay.

Lentz was formerly with Kraft Foods Group and most recently held the position of senior VP, customer service and logistics.

In other appointments:

Joe Venezia has been named senior VP, store operations, Toys “R” Us, U.S. In this capacity, Venezia is responsible for transforming the in-store experience through strong operations disciplines and customer service excellence in the company’s store network across the country. He also provides leadership for ensuring customers have a seamless in-store and online shopping experience through the company’s omnichannel offerings.

Venezia was formerly at The Pantry, where he served as senior VP of store operations for its convenience stores and quick service restaurants across the Southeastern U.S. Prior to this, Venezia served as senior VP of Walmart U.S. and president for the company’s Northeast division.

Christine Morena has been named senior VP, human resources, Toys “R” Us, Inc. In this role, Morena provides strategic guidance and operational support to the company’s global human resources organization throughout its headquarters and regional offices, as well as stores and distribution centers in the U.S. and internationally.

Morena most recently served as principal of her own advisory services business, providing counsel to senior managers and boards on building best-in-class organizational structures and programs. Prior to this, she served as executive VP and chief human resources officer for Saks Incorporated.

“One of the key pillars of our “TRU Transformation” strategy is to develop high-performing, highly engaged, diverse teams, and we are assembling talent that can help lead important areas of the business and offer fresh perspectives,” said Antonio Urcelay, chairman and CEO, Toys “R” Us, Inc. “With these new leaders and our internal team, we are intensely focused on looking at every aspect of the business for process improvement in making the company fit for growth.”

In addition, the company recently announced the appointments of Michael Short as executive VP, CFO, Toys “R” Us, Inc. and Chetan Bhandari as senior VP, corporate finance and treasurer, Toys “R” Us, Inc.

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