Blog: ConAgra, B&G touted as potential Skippy suitors
Katy Askew | 12 November 2012
ConAgra Foods and B&G Foods are reportedly among those in the running to acquire Unilever's US peanut butter brand, Skippy.
Unilever announced it was "considering options" for the brand last month and - as we reported in our analysis of the move - one likely potential suitor was US group ConAgra.
ConAgra recently snapped up Unilever's frozen brands in the US and has indicated that it is hoping to drive growth through M&A. According to a Bloomberg report, which cited people familiar with the matter, ConAgra has made a preliminary approach for the business, which could potentially augment its Peter Pan peanut butter unit.
Another potential buyer, the report suggested, is spreads-to-salsa manufacturer B&G Foods. As a US-focused manufacturer of shelf-stable products, Skippy would slot neatly into B&G's existing centre-store portfolio. And, like ConAgra, B&G has looked to build its portfolio through acquisitions of late: the company recently completed the purchase of New York Style and Old London brands from Chipita.
B&G has recently secured a batch of brands from Unilever. Last year, B&G acquired four brands from Unilever, so the two sides do have a relationship.
Add to this B&G's ship-shape balance sheet - which has been boosted by a stock offering the proceeds of which were used to paydown maturing debt and fund the New York Style, Old London purchase - and B&G certainly looks like a contender for Skippy.
Skippy generated full-year sales of around US$300m in 2011 and, according to analyst estimates, the disposal of Skippy is expected to generate proceeds of between US$300-400m.
The brand represents an attractive asset for those operating in the US food space. Skippy is the second-largest brand in the US nuts and seeds spreads category, with 17% value share. And, according to figures from Eurominitor International, the category itself is expected to report a compound annual growth rate of 2.6%, or in value terms US$200-230m, over the next five years.
There has been an increase in M&A among companies in the food sector in recent months - and management consultants at EY expect to the trend to continue....
Nelson Peltz is not letting go. The US billionaire investor is continuing in his quest to get PepsiCo to split in two - and has reportedly suggested a proxy battle with the company could be on the hor...
just-food has launched a section on its website dedicated to interviewing internationally-ambitious small- and medium-sized enterprises. ...
The boom in demand for dairy products in emerging markets has been underlined by the latest data on the largest companies in the industry....
- On the move: What's in store from Tesco's new CEO?
- The just-food interview: Premier Foods CEO Darby
- On the money: Can Premier build H2 sales momentum?
- Focus: Lindt plays safe with Russell Stover buy
- Interview: Bell hits out at German cartel ruling
- UPDATE: Premier establishes international unit
- Campbell issues warning on 2014/15 fiscal year
- S&A Foods announces restructure, 55 jobs to go
- Premier launches Oxo pots range in UK
- Universal Robina to buy biscuit firm Griffin's