US food group General Mills, the owner of the Pillsbury dough brand, is to acquire local pizza-crust business TNT Crust.

General Mills is buying Wisconsin-based TNT Crust from private-equity firm Peak Rock Capital, which has owned the business for almost four years.

TNT Crust manufactures frozen pizza crusts for regional and national pizza chains, foodservice distributors and retail outlets. Its net sales totalled approximately US$100m in 2021.

As part of the deal, General Mills will also gain two manufacturing facilities in Green Bay, Wisconsin, as well as one in St. Charles, Missouri.

Shawn O’Grady, group president of General Mills’ foodservice business in North America, said the deal “builds on our strong position in the fast-growing, away-from-home, frozen-baked-goods category.

“We have clear competitive advantages in foodservice with our strategic customer partnerships, best-in-class supply chain, and operator-first innovation capabilities. By adding the high-growth TNT Crust business to our frozen baked-goods platform, we are adding to our scale in a category that is on-trend with consumers and poised for continued rapid growth.”

In the nine months to 27 February, General Mills’ North American foodservice business generated net sales of $1.32bn, up 24% on a year earlier, helped by increased mobility and a re-opening of the sector compared to the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic. Segment operating profit increased 27% to $175m.

General Mills said that, on a two-year, compound-growth basis, relative to pre-pandemic levels, the division’s net sales were down 4%. On that basis, segment operating profit dropped 13%.

The purchase of TNT Crust is expected to be finalised in the first quarter of General Mills’ fiscal 2023 year.

TNT Crust was previously owned by US meat giant Tyson Foods before it was sold on to Peak Rock Capital in 2018.

Just Food has asked TNT Crust for its comment on the deal.