US private label food company Ralcorp Holdings has announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to purchase Western Waffles, a Canadian-based manufacturer of private label frozen griddle products.

Western Waffles' product offerings include frozen toaster waffles, which represent 90% of its total revenues, pancakes and French toast. Western Waffles has three manufacturing facilities in Canada and approximately 370 employees. For the year ended 31 December 2004, Western Waffles had net sales of US$75m. Approximately 80% of its sales are in US retail and mass merchandise channels.

Ralcorp said it will finance the acquisition primarily through borrowings under its existing $150m committed revolving credit facility. As a result of the transaction, Western Waffles will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Ralcorp.

Currently, Ralcorp's product offering in frozen griddle products consists of a variety of branded frozen griddle products sold primarily in the foodservice channels. Western Waffles and its facilities will become part of Ralcorp's frozen bakery products segment.

"We are pleased to have the opportunity to add Western Waffles frozen griddle products to our existing frozen bakery products platform. Ralcorp is looking forward to operating the Canadian facilities as a key part of Ralcorp's private label product offerings. Western Waffles' products are a great fit for Bakery Chef and will complement Bakery Chef's existing sales of high quality frozen griddle products," said Kevin Hunt, co-chief executive officer and president of Ralcorp Holdings.