LET'S MAKE A DEAL

Frozen foodservice and contract food processor Overhill Farms Inc., Los Angeles, released second quarter earnings last Friday and noted that "the company is in discussions regarding a significant potential acquisition and has retained BofA Merrill Lynch" for advise. Chairman & CEO James Rudis said "discussions are progressing" but declined further comment. In its earnings release, Overhill attributed growth to new contract processing business with Boston Market and a new retail private label line for a major undisclosed national retailer.

J&J Snack Foods Corp., Pennsauken, N.J., said it completed its previously announced purchase of ConAgra Foods' dough enrobed products unit. The business includes products sold under the Patio, Hand Fulls, Holly Ridge Bakery, Villa Taliano, Top Picks and private label brands, as well manufacturing facilities in Holly Ridge, N.C., and Weston, Ore.

Officials said the deal gives J&J greater flexibility to address changing consumer needs. They noted that the business produces a wide variety of products -- from sweet to savory; healthy to indulgent -- in individual retail and bulk foodservice packs. It generates annual sales of approximately $50 million.

"We are excited about this opportunity," said Gerald Shreiber, J&J President & CEO. "This is a fine line of products that will expand our portfolio of brands to existing and new venues."

J&J's frozen products portfolio includes Superpretzel and Pretzel Fillers soft pretzels; ICEE, Slush Puppie and Arctic Blast frozen beverages; Luigi's, Mama Tish's, Shape Ups, Minute Maid and Barq's frozen juice bars and ices; Mary B's frozen biscuits and dumplings; and Mrs. Goodcookie, Camden Creek, Country Home and Readi-Bake frozen bakery foods.