Heinz is expected to take advantage of an expected bankruptcy filing of Vlasic Foods International Inc., by acquiring its pickles business for nearly US$200m (€217m), say analysts.
Heinz will also pick up the Open Pit barbeque sauce brand, if the deal goes through. The sale wouldn’t include the Swanson frozen food business, which is expected be auctioned in bankruptcy.
The sale of the pickle business would have to be approved by a bankruptcy court and wouldn’t take place until after the bankruptcy filing by Vlasic. Analysts expect that an announcement of Heinz’s intent will be made shortly. Both Heinz & Vlasic declined to comment on the reports. Vlasic’s demise has in part been blamed on a US$600m debt load.
Heinz is aslo likely to bid for the European soups and sports drink business of Dutch-owned, CSM, for an estimated US$380m after losing the bidding contest for the Unilever soup brands to Campbell.