Mergers & Acquisitions
Dupont & Co. and General Mills Inc. in February sold their soy milk company, 8th Continent LLC, to Stremicks Heritage Foods for an undisclosed amount. DuPont and General Mills in 2000 established 8th Continent using DuPont's soy technology and General Mills' merchandising and distribution. Each company owned half the partnership. 8th Continent will continue to buy soy protein from Solae, which is majority-owned by DuPont.
Mitsui Foods International of Japan in January bought San-Rallo Pasta Co., Dover, N.J., for an undisclosed sum. San-Rallo makes frozen pasta and Italian specialties; a manufacturing plant is included in the sale. Chris Sanzone, San-Rallo's founder and CEO said the entire management team and I will remain in place. It will become part of Mitsui Foods USA, headquartered in Norwood, N.J.
Shearers Foods Inc., a Brewster, Ohio, maker of co-packed and private label seasoned snack foods including kettle chips, was bought by Mistral Equity Partners, New York. Shearers management team, headed by CEO Robert Shearer, will continue in their current positions and will be investors in the transaction.
Campbell Soup Co. sold its Godiva Chocolatier unit to Yildiz Holding of Turkey for $850 million. The Belgian chocolate maker had annual sales of $500 million. Media reports said the Godiva sale approximated an auction, with Hershey, Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co., Starbucks and several private equity firms interested. Campbell, Camden. N.J., acquired Godiva in 1967 and built into a worldwide power brand, but decided to sell it to focus on its traditional business of soups and snacks. Godiva will become part of the Ulker Group, which is owned by Yildiz.