Ralcorp Holdings, Inc., St. Louis, said it completed its previously announced purchase of Sara Lee Corp.'sNorth American private brand refrigerated dough business.

To fund the $545 million transaction, Ralcorp has entered into a short-term financing arrangement that is expected to be repaid with a portion of the proceeds generated by financing to be incurred in connection with the separation of its Post cereals business unit, which is on pace to be completed near year end.

"We are pleased to complete this transaction, which enhances Ralcorp's private-brand offerings and immediately positions Ralcorp as a leader in the $1.8 billion refrigerated dough category," said Kevin J. Hunt, Co-CEO and President of Ralcorp. "The acquisition of this cash generating refrigerated dough business will make important contributions to Ralcorp's earnings following the planned separation of the Post cereals business and represents the continuation of our strategy of enhancing shareholder value through private-brand acquisitions."

Hunt continued, "We welcome the refrigerated dough business' management team and employees to the Ralcorp family. The refrigerated dough business will become a key part of our frozen bakery division and will enhance Ralcorp's bakery product offerings. We look forward to providing our customers with the high-quality service and products they have come to expect from Ralcorp."

Officials described the refrigerated dough business as a leading U.S. manufacturer and distributor of a full range of private brand refrigerated dough products. The refrigerated dough business employs approximately 700 people and has manufacturing and distribution facilities in Carrollton, Texas, and Forest Park, Ga. Ralcorp said the refrigerated dough business will operate as part of a broader Ralcorp Frozen Bakery Products division.