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Today's Transactions
TreeHouse Foods Set to Buy Naturally Fresh

The condiments manufacturer dips into $750 million credit line to feed private label addition. TreeHouse is likely to make other acquisitions this year.

TreeHouse Foods is spending $25 million in cash to acquire Naturally Fresh, a privately-held producer of chilled dressings, dips, marinades, and sauces.

TreeHouse, which trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol THS, will tap into its $750 million credit line to finance the deal, which is expected to close within 30 days. 

Naturally Fresh, based in Atlanta, Ga., was founded in 1966 under the name of Eastern Foods. It started as a supplier of coffee creamer to the airline industry. The business currently generates $80 million in annual revenues and has seven distribution centers throughout the U.S. The company sells products under its namesake brand as well as private label brands to food service distributors, chains and retailers.

TreeHouse CEO Sam Reed describes the  addition as complementary to TreeHouse’s  dressings, sauces and other condiments. 

TreeHouse sealed its last major deal in late 2010 when it acquired the private-label macaroni and cheese maker, S.T. Specialty Foods, for $180 million, from Windjammer Capital Investors.   

It appears that Naturally Fresh is just the tipping point for TreeHouse and its strategic growth plan. In February, Reed noted in the company’s fourth quarter 2011 results, that its senior team will continue to pursue strategic acquisitions for 2012. “We see the food industry moderating, the acquisition environment improving, and financing staying open and available," he said.

 

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