US-based gluten-free group Boulder Brands has signed a deal to buy Phil's Fresh Foods, the owner of frozen convenience foods firm EVOL Foods.

Boulder has agreed to pay US$48m for a business that is expected to generate $17m in sales by the end of 2013.

EVOL manufactures "premium" frozen convenience foods, including products like burritos, quesadillas, entrees, bowls, and skillet meals, Boulder said today (23 December).

Next year, Boulder expects EVOL to contribute around $25m in net sales and $1.5 in EBITDA. On a GAAP basis, EVOL is expected to be dilutive to earnings per share by approximately $0.02 per share in 2014, Boulder said.

Boulder chairman and CEO Stephen Hughes said: "While this acquisition is relatively small in size, we believe it to have significant potential for Boulder Brands, as EVOL is a category-elastic brand in an exciting segment that will further accelerate our growth rate and diversify our mix to high-growth natural brands. Consumers are demanding pure and simple ingredients in the food they buy, and retailers are in the process of renovating their freezers with healthier alternatives. With EVOL, Boulder Brands will participate in this exciting growth opportunity with a newly-defined pure and simple food platform."

Hughes added Boulder saw "considerable revenue and platform synergies" with gluten-free brand Udi's.

"EVOL has built a strong brand proven in the natural channel and a clear proof of concept in conventional retail, resulting in considerable white-space opportunity in conventional, mass and club channels," he said. "In addition, its portfolio of products is the perfect complement to Udi's wide range of gluten-free frozen baked goods."