Pinnacle Foods Inc., Parsippany, N.J., entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Boulder Brands, Boulder, Colo., in an effort to expand Pinnacle's presence in the health and wellness categories. The transaction also expands Pinnacle's presence in the natural and organic retail channel and provides Pinnacle with a new growth platform in refrigerated foods.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, and is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2016. 

Boulder Brands manufactures a portfolio of health and wellness brands, including Udi's and Glutino gluten-free products, EVOL natural frozen meal offerings and Smart Balance and Earth Balance refrigerated and shelf-stable spreads businesses. The Boulder Brands portfolio is sold in both traditional and natural and organic channels in the United States, with a consumer base that skews younger than that of Pinnacle's current portfolio average. Annual net sales of Boulder Brands totaled over $500 million in 2014.

"The acquisition of Boulder Brands further expands our health and wellness portfolio, currently anchored by the Birds Eye and gardein brands,” says Bob Gamgort, chief executive officer for Pinnacle. “In addition to being a synergy-rich, accretive transaction with on-trend brands, the acquisition provides us with an important health and wellness talent pool in Boulder, Colo. In this regard, we plan to retain Boulder's existing headquarters location."

"After a thorough review of strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value, we are pleased to provide our shareholders with immediate and substantial cash value,” adds Dean Hollis, chairman of Boulder Brands. “In addition to shareholder value, this combination provides significant benefits for all stakeholders. Boulder Brands' purpose has been to 'lead change and improve lives' and today marks an important milestone in that journey. Together with Pinnacle Foods, Boulder Brands will have additional and stronger resources to drive our brands and deliver value to customers and consumers, while providing new opportunities for employees. We expect a seamless transition and look forward to accelerating our growth across an impressive collection of health and wellness brands as part of Pinnacle Foods."