Ralcorp Holdings said today (15 November) that its acquisition of US cereals business Post will give the private-label firm a "platform" to make further branded acquisitions.

Ralcorp, which makes a range of private-label products including cereals, has bought the Post business from Kraft Foods in an all-stock deal worth US$2.6bn.

Co-CEO and president David Skarie said Post would, for the first time, give an enlarged Ralcorp business the "scale" to buy more brands.

"Post gives us the scale to look at potential branded acquisitions, along with our other acquisition looks in private-label or in frozen bakery," Skarie said.

Ralcorp's other co-CEO and president, Kevin Hunt, added: "This is certainly more than a one-time opportunity. This is a platform we've not been able to take advantage of before. It gives a branded infrastructure to put other branded acquisitions into."

Under the deal, Ralcorp will acquire four manufacturing facilities from Kraft, with around 1,250 employees joining the company.

The "tax-efficient" deal will see Kraft will hand ownership of Post to Kraft shareholders in either a "split-off" or "spin-off" transaction.

A "split-off" would give Kraft shareholders the opportunity to exchange its shares in the US food giant for Ralcorp stock. A "spin-off" would involve a pro rata distribution of shares to Kraft investors.

Either way, Kraft shareholders will own around 54% of the enlarged Ralcorp business. Ralcorp investors will own the remaining 46% of the combined company.

"This is a transaction where everyone wins - Kraft, Ralcorp, our respective shareholders and employees," said Irene Rosenfeld, Kraft chairman and CEO.