Schwans could also sell chunks of business

Schwan's could also sell chunks of business

US food company Schwan's is said to be eyeing a potential sale that could value the firm at more than US$2.5bn.

CNBC reported unnamed sources as saying the Minnesota-based frozen food maker has hired investment bank Piper Jaffray to review "options'' that could include a sale. The sources, who asked not to be named because the process is confidential, said Schwan's could also opt to offload chunks of the business but also cautioned a sale might not happen at all.

The privately-owned business makes products for the home-delivery, retail-grocery and foodservice channels with brands such as Red Baron, Tony's, Freschetta pizza and Pagoda snacks.

A sale would come on the heels of a busy year for Schwan's. Only last week, the firm announced it is setting up a new venture - Schwan's Strategic Partner Solutions - focused on growing its private-label and contract-packaging business with 'select' retailers and food manufacturers. 

In September, it invested $5m in US baby meal delivery start-up Raised Real, and a month earlier it put an undisclosed amount into local business Tru Shrimp in a bid to grow in-land shrimp production.

And in July, Schwan's expanded its presence in the pizza market with the acquisition of Better Baked Foods and Drayton Foods from NE Foods. That transaction followed the June purchase of MaMa Rosa's Pizza from California-based private-equity house HGGC. The financial terms for both those deals were again not revealed.