OMAHA, Neb. and LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–DATE, 2016– ConAgra Foods, Inc. (NYSE: CAG) and Platinum Equity, a California-based private equity firm, today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement for Platinum Equity to acquire ConAgra Foods’ JM Swank business, a national food ingredient sourcing and distribution company. Terms of the deal were not announced.
“Our goal continues to be driving greater shareholder value by making ConAgra Foods a more focused and higher performing company,” said Sean Connolly, president and chief executive officer of ConAgra Foods. “The divestiture of JM Swank is the most recent step we have taken to allow us to drive growth by continuing to invest in our product portfolio.”
Platinum Equity CEO Tom Gores said that he expects strong collaboration with ConAgra Foods and his firm’s expertise in corporate divestitures to help ensure a seamless transition.
“We are proud of the relationship we’ve developed with ConAgra Foods and look forward to working together throughout the transition and beyond,” said Gores. “JM Swank is a leader in its industry and our team is excited to partner with management to help drive growth and create new value.”
Gores added, “Complex carve outs require experience, hard work and attention to detail. We have been providing divestiture solutions to corporate sellers for more than 20 years and understand what it takes to be successful.”
Transactions Platinum Equity has completed in recent years include acquisitions from AP Moeller Maersk, Bemis Company, CBS, Deutsche Post DHL, Emerson, Itochu Corporation and Volvo.
Connolly said that he expects JM Swank to continue to be an important ConAgra Foods supplier and customer following the completion of the transaction.
Connolly added, “I’d also like to thank the JM Swank team for all of their many contributions to ConAgra Foods and wish them well in the future.”
Wells Fargo Securities, LLC served as exclusive financial advisor to ConAgra on the transaction.
ConAgra Foods, Inc. (NYSE: CAG) is one of North America's leading packaged food companies with recognized brands such as Marie Callender's®, Healthy Choice®, Slim Jim®, Hebrew National®, Orville Redenbacher's®, Peter Pan®, Reddi-ip®, PAM®, Snack Pack®, Banquet®, Chef Boyardee®, Egg Beaters®, Hunt’s® and many other ConAgra Foods brands found in grocery, convenience, mass merchandise and club stores. ConAgra Foods also has a strong business-to-business presence, supplying frozen potato and sweet potato products as well as other vegetable, spice and grain products to a variety of well-known restaurants, foodservice operators and commercial customers. For more information, please visit us at www.conagrafoods.com.
Founded in 1995 by Tom Gores, Platinum Equity is a global investment firm with a portfolio of approximately 25 operating companies that serve customers around the world. Platinum Equity specializes in mergers and operations – a trademarked strategy it calls M&A&O® – acquiring and operating companies in a broad range of business markets, including manufacturing, distribution, transportation and logistics, equipment rental, metals services, media and entertainment, technology, telecommunications and other industries. Over the past 20 years, Platinum Equity has completed more than 175 acquisitions.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations and are subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances. These risks and uncertainties include, among other things: ConAgra Foods’ ability to successfully complete the spin-off of its Lamb Weston business on a tax-free basis, within the expected time frame or at all; ConAgra Foods’ ability to execute its operating and restructuring plans and achieve its targeted operating efficiencies, cost-saving initiatives, and trade optimization programs; ConAgra Foods’ ability to successfully execute its long-term value creation strategy; ConAgra Foods’ ability to realize the synergies and benefits contemplated by the Ardent Mills joint venture; risks and uncertainties associated with intangible assets, including any future goodwill or intangible assets impairment charges; the availability and prices of raw materials, including any negative effects caused by inflation or weather conditions; the effectiveness of ConAgra Foods’ product pricing efforts, whether through pricing actions or changes in promotional strategies; the ultimate outcome of litigation, including litigation related to the lead paint and pigment matters and the accident at its former Garner plant; future economic circumstances; industry conditions; the effectiveness of ConAgra Foods’ hedging activities, including volatility in commodities that could negatively impact ConAgra Foods’ derivative positions and, in turn, ConAgra Foods’ earnings; the success of ConAgra Foods’ innovation and marketing investments; the competitive environment and related market conditions; the ultimate impact of any ConAgra Foods’ product recalls; access to capital; actions of governments and regulatory factors affecting ConAgra Foods’ businesses, including the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; the amount and timing of repurchases of ConAgra Foods’ common stock and debt, if any; the costs, disruption and diversion of management’s attention associated with campaigns commenced by activist investors; and other risks described in ConAgra Foods’ reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its most recent annual report on Form 10-K and subsequent reports on Forms 10-Q and 8-K. Investors and security holders are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. ConAgra Foods disclaims any obligation to update or revise statements contained in this press release to reflect future events or circumstances or otherwise.