McCain Foods Limited has completed the deal to purchase the production facilities and foodservice business of Anchor Food Products Inc. in Appleton, Wis., in a three-party transaction.

As part of the deal, H. J. Heinz Company (NYSE: HNZ) purchased Anchor’s branded retail products business. Specific terms of the three-party transaction were not announced.

Gilles Lessard, chairman and CEO of McCain Foods U.S.A in Oak Brook, Ill., says the acquisition of the Anchor foodservice business will boost McCain sales in the U.S. to about $1.5 billion. He added that the acquisition positions McCain as a major player in frozen appetizers, as well as its original frozen potato business.

“We now are positioned to showcase our innovation, production capabilities and customer service to an even broader range of foodservice customers,” Lessard said.

Anchor had sales of $503 million in 2000. It produces and markets specialty cheese appetizers, onion rings, stuffed jalapeno peppers, and vegetable appetizers, along with rolled and other specialty appetizers.

McCain Foods USA is a major manufacturer of frozen French fries, appetizers and pizzas. It is part of Canadian-based McCain Foods Limited, with operations in 13 countries on five continents and sales of about $4 billion.

The new Foodservice Appetizer Group will produce and market a wide variety of brands, including Poppers, Anchor, Moore’s, Brew City, and Golden Crisp, to the foodservice trade.

Bill Raaths, Anchor’s president and CEO who will head the combined appetizer business group, also sees synergies in the merger. “Anchor is recognized for its new product innovation and marketing sizzle. Coupling this with McCain’s operational strength, solid brands and major international presence produces a winning formula.”

McCain appetizer plants are located in Appleton, Rice Lake and Ft. Atkinson, Wis.; Grand Island, Neb.; Pecos, Tex.; Toluca and Cuauhtemoc, Mexico.