US food manufacturer Conagra Brands has finally reached a deal to sell its Wesson cooking oil line after plans to offload the assets earlier in the year fell through.
The owner of the Birds Eye and Gardein brands has struck an agreement with Richardson International, a Canada-based privately-owned producer of food and agricultural products, to purchase Wesson for an undisclosed sum, according to a statement.
Earlier in the year, Conagra and fellow US manufacturer J.M. Smucker called off a proposed deal for the oil assets amid opposition from the country’s competition regulator. That was before Conagra bought up another US food maker, Pinnacle Foods, for US$10.9bn, creating a leading player in the frozen category.
Illinois-based Conagra, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, said yesterday (18 December), the Wesson transaction is still subject to regulatory approvals but expects the deal to close by the end of the first quarter.
Its agreement with Richardson includes all the assets exclusively related to the Wesson brand, including a production facility in Memphis, Tennessee.
Wesson produces vegetable, canola, corn and blended oils. J.M. Smucker had set out to acquire the brand in May 2017, but a deal was stymied by the US Federal Trade Commission.
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Richardson is located in Winnipeg, Canada, and has canola-based oil products within its portfolio. Along with its domestic business, the company also has operations in the US and the UK.