General Mills, Minneapolis, signed a definitive agreement to acquire Annie's Inc. for $46 per share in cash, for a total transaction value of approximately $820 million. This acquisition will enable Annie's to enter a new phase of growth and success while maximizing value for stockholders. Annie's will continue to be headquartered in Berkeley, Calif.
"We are excited about this strategic combination, which will enable Annie's to expand the reach and breadth of our high-quality, great-tasting organic and natural products, provide new opportunities for our employees, realize greater efficiencies in our operations and maximize value for our stockholders," says John Foraker, chief executive officer of Annie's. "Powerful consumer shifts toward products with simple, organic and natural ingredients from companies that share consumers' core values show no signs of letting up. Partnering with a company of General Mills' scale and resources will strengthen our position at the forefront of this trend, enabling us to more rapidly and efficiently expand into new channels and product lines in a rapidly evolving industry environment.”
"Annie's will remain dedicated to our mission—to cultivate a healthier and happier world by spreading goodness through nourishing foods, honest words and conduct that is considerate and forever kind to the planet,” Foraker adds. “Authentic roots, great-tasting products, high-quality organic and natural ingredients and sustainable business practices will continue to be the cornerstones of the Annie's brand.”
"This transaction is a testament to the great team at Annie's,” says Molly Ashby, chairman of the board of directors for Annie’s. “Together, they have built a highly successful company around the authentic, mission-driven concept that Annie Withey originated 25 years ago. Annie's is a pioneer of the new generation of company that does well by doing good, generating great value for all stakeholders. This is strategically the right time to pursue this combination because it brings operational, sourcing and distribution capabilities that enable Annie's to build on its leadership position in the natural and organic market."
The transaction is expected to close later in calendar 2014.