Del Monte Foods Company (NYSE:DLM) today announced that it has completed the acquisition of the S&W branded food business, as well as related brands and existing inventory, from Tri Valley Growers for approximately $39 million in cash. S&W branded products include canned fruits, tomatoes, beans, specialty sauces and vegetables. Del Monte expects the acquisition to add approximately $100 million in sales and to be accretive to earnings in the first full fiscal year.

“With the acquisition of S&W, Del Monte is taking another important step in its strategy to grow by expanding its lines of premium quality, nutritious and easy-to-use foods,” said Richard G. Wolford, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Del Monte. “S&W is a perfect fit with Del Monte’s current portfolio of premium brands. Its highly regarded product line, which includes offerings that are new for Del Monte such as beans and specialty sauces, complements our existing lines and enables Del Monte to access new markets. Importantly, we also will leverage our selling and operating infrastructure, resulting in what we believe will be significant synergies.”

The Company will absorb S&W’s businesses, including almost all production, into its existing operations. Sales and administration functions, including S&W’s international distribution, also will be folded into Del Monte’s existing organizational structure. The Company believes this can be accomplished with minimal capital investment, yielding significant operational and administrative cost savings.

Last September, the Company acquired the worldwide rights to the Sunfresh branded line of tropical and citrus fruits, which are sold in the produce section. The Sunfresh line added additional scale and retailer partnership opportunities to the Company’s existing Orchard Select line of deciduous fruit in glass products already sold in produce. The Contadina line of tomato products was Del Monte’s first branded acquisition in 1997. In 1998 the Company acquired rights to the Del Monte brand for processed products in South America. Del Monte has successfully integrated all these businesses with minimal organizational impact.

Del Monte Foods is synonymous with exceptional quality, nutritional value and category leadership. Packaged under the Del Monte, Contadina, Sunfresh and S&W brand names, Del Monte’s wide variety of fruit, vegetable and tomato products are ideally suited for today’s busy consumers who desire healthy, nutritious and easy-to-use foods.

Del Monte Foods Company, with net sales of approximately $1.5 billion in fiscal 2000, is the largest producer and distributor of premium quality, branded processed fruit, vegetable and tomato products in the United States. The Del Monte brand was introduced in 1892 and is one of the best known brands in the United States. Del Monte products are sold through national grocery chains, independent grocery stores, warehouse club stores, mass merchandisers, drug stores and convenience stores. The Company also sells its products to the U.S. military, certain export markets, the foodservice industry and food processors. The Company operates fourteen production facilities and seven distribution centers in the U.S., has operations in Venezuela and owns Del Monte brand marketing rights in South America.

This press release contains forward-looking statements conveying management’s expectations as to the future based on plans, estimates and projections at the time the Company makes the statements. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties and the Company cautions you that a number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in such statements. These factors include, among others: general economic and business conditions; competition; weather conditions; crop yields; raw material costs and availability; the loss of significant customers; changes in business strategy or development plans; changes in promotional activities by the Company or its competitors; availability, terms and deployment of capital; availability of qualified personnel; changes in, or failure or inability to comply with, governmental regulations, including, without limitation, environmental regulations; industry trends; production capacity constraints and other factors. These factors are described in more detail in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2000. Investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof.