US food group Conagra Brands has agreed to buy peer Pinnacle Foods according to a report in the UK’s Financial Times newspaper.

The report, which could not be verified by just-food at the time of writing, quotes “people briefed about the transaction” saying Pinnacle and Conagra reached a definitive agreement last night (26 June). Fellow media outlet CNBC reported yesterday the two companies were in advanced talks to close a deal.

The Financial Times source suggested a deal could be completed today (27 June).

Last week, news agencies Bloomberg and Reuters both reported the US manufacturers had restarted talks over a possible transaction. 

The companies, home to brands like Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn and Gardein vegetarian foods, were reported last summer to have been in talks over a deal, although those discussions were said to have broken down over price.

The businesses are major players in the US frozen-food category, with Conagra’s stable including Banquet ready meals and Pinnacle’s portfolio housing Birds Eye.

In April, activist investor Jana Partners acquired just over 9% of Pinnacle and said it would hold talks with the company’s board on “value-creation measures”, which for the fund included “evaluating alternatives to realise [Pinnacle’s] strategic value, including a sale or other consolidation opportunities potentially available to the [company] as a result of its scale position in the frozen foods sector”.