US: ConAgra acquires vegetable business
US food giant ConAgra Foods has acquired a privately-held vegetable processing and agricultural company in a bid to grow its potato business.
The acquisition of Washington-based Watts Brothers was made to strengthen the company's Lamb Weston brand, one of the largest potato groups in North America with annual sales of US$2bn. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"The acquisition of the Watts Brothers entities will strengthen Lamb Weston's position in its core Northwest growing region, providing a more stable raw material base while also strengthening the Lamb Weston supply chain," said Gary Rodkin, ConAgra CEO.
"Additionally, Watts Brothers' strong position in vegetables will complement existing potato product sales in both existing and new markets, providing additional opportunities for sales growth."
Only this month, ConAgra Foods were reported to be cutting 92 jobs in Asia and Europe, as a result of disappointing sales.
The news of the cuts came a day after the Omaha-based company announced its third-quarter profit would be higher than expected due to strong performances by its commodities trading unit and its food ingredient division.
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Reporting its full year results today (26 June) ConAgra emphasised the strong performance of its continuing operations, which saw diluted EPS grow 38%....
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