US natural and organic food company Hain Celestial has announced that it will acquire the Ethnic Gourmet brand of natural ethnic frozen meals and the Rosetto brand of frozen Italian products from US food giant Heinz.

The acquisition is expected to be accretive in the first fiscal year following closing, the company said, adding that the Ethnic Gourmet and Rosetto brands had combined annual sales of approximately $30m in 2003.

In addition, the company said that Matthew Cooper has joined Hain Celestial as general manager, frozen foods, with responsibility for the company’s entire frozen food portfolio. Cooper was previously with Heinz as director of marketing, growth channels, where he had responsibility for frozen brands in various channels.

“Ethnic Gourmet and Rosetto will form the foundation for our expanding efforts in the growing frozen foods category,” said Irwin Simon, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Hain Celestial.

“We expect to build further on these successful brands, introducing new natural offerings in the frozen aisle and ensuring that consumers who want frozen natural products that taste good will have an expanded choice of meal options. In particular, we believe there is an excellent opportunity to introduce co-branded low carbohydrate dinners and pastas under CarbFit and Rosetto,” Simon added.

Separately, Hain Celestial also said it had reached an agreement with Sesame Workshop to create co-branded natural food products for children, including cereals, snacks, cookies and crackers, under the Earth’s Best brand using Sesame Street characters.

Terms of the transactions were not disclosed.