Bellisio Foods, which claims to be the third-largest maker of single-serve frozen entrees in the U.S., will be acquired by Thailand company Charoen Pokphand Foods Pcl (a.k.a. CP Foods) for $1.075 billion, according to media reports.
Bellisio is a low-profile processor, doing a lot of contract work and making entrees under such licenses as Boston Market, Chili's and Atkins (also Michelina's). But it recently stepped up its game, creating EatingWell frozen foods in partnership with media company Meredith Corp., then launched Eat! frozen entrees of its own; both feature novel packaging.
The acquisition will give CP Foods entry into the world's largest food market, in line with its strategy of growing into new geographic markets. The Wall Street Journal notes CP Foods is controlled by Thailand's richest man, Dhanin Chearavanont. CP Foods is Thailand's largest meat and feed producer with operations in 14 countries.
Bellisio, which launched operations in 1990, is headquartered in Minneapolis. It has four facilities in Ohio, California and Minnesota and reported sales of $668 million for its fiscal year ending Sept. 11.