US private-label group TreeHouse Foods has moved again to expand through acquisitions with a deal to buy S.T. Specialty Foods.

The agreement, annonunced yesterday (13 September), will see TreeHouse acquire S.T. from private-equity group Windjammer Capital Investors for an initial US$180m in cash. TreeHouse will pay a further $15m if S.T. achieves certain profit targets by the end of 2010.

S.T., which has sales of around $100m, makes macaroni and cheese, skillet dinners and other value-added side dishes and salads.

“S.T. has had consistent growth since its inception and will not only add to our broad product portfolio for the retail grocery channel, but it will also give us the opportunity to expand our offerings into the lunch and dinner meal occasions,” said TreeHouse chairman and CEO Sam Reed.

Dale Schultz, president of S.T., said TreeHouse was “an excellent fit” with his company’s products and its “culture”.

S.T. has manufacturing and distribution facilities in Minnesota and Wisconsin. TreeHouse said it did not “anticipate making any significant changes” to S.T.’s existing operations.