Refrigerated pasta and specialty foods processor Monterey Gourmet Foods, Inc., Salinas, Calif., said it agreed to be purchased by Korea's Pulmuone U.S.A., Inc. in a $2.70 per share cash tender offer. Officials expect the deal -- worth an estimated $45.8 million -- to be completed by the end of the fourth quarter of this year.

Pulmuone U.S.A., Inc., Fullerton, Calif., is a U.S. subsidiary of Pulmuone Holdings Co., Ltd., Seoul, South Korea, which is a$1 billion market leader in the fresh/health foods category in Korea.

Monterey Gourmet Foods processes USDA-inspected, fresh gourmet refrigerated food products at its integrated manufacturing facilities in Salinas (Monterey County), Calif.; and Kent, Wash. The company processes and markets products under such brands as Monterey Pasta Company, CIBO Naturals, Emerald Valley Kitchen and Sonoma Cheese for distribution to more than 11,000 retail and club stores throughout the United States and selected regions of Canada, the Caribbean, Latin America, and Asia Pacific.

Pulmuone Holdings Co., Ltd. is a leading food manufacturing and retail company that has developed and built the fresh/health food market in Korea with products with short shelf lives. Its major products include tofu, fresh noodles, bean sprouts and eggs. With respect to tofu and bean sprouts, Pulmuone commands leading market shares in Korea. Pulmuone Holdings Co., Ltd. was established in 1984 and listed on the KOSPI in 1995, and was named as one of the 30 most respected companies in Korea in 2008 for its contribution to the "right foods movement" and management for sustainability.

Pulmuone U.S.A. entered the U.S. fresh foods market in 2004 by acquiring Wildwood Natural Foods, Inc., a manufacturer of soy foods including tofu, tofu veggie burgers and soy yogurt. Pulmuone said it maintains strong manufacturing principles of using no chemicals, no preservatives and no artificial additives.