General Mills Inc. agreed to sell its Green Giant and Le Sueur vegetable businesses to B&G Foods Inc. for about $765 million, part of an effort to offload mature brands in favor of faster-growing areas.
The cash transaction is expected to close by the end of the year, Minneapolis-based General Mills said in a statement Thursday. As part of the agreement, the food company will continue to operate the Green Giant business in Europe and other markets under a license from B&G.
B&G has been active in dealmaking recently. Earlier in 2015, the company bought the Mama Mary’s pizza crust brand for $50 million and in 2014, B&G added granola bar maker Rickland Orchards for $57.5 million.
General Mills is one of several U.S. food giants rethinking their product lineups. As consumers shift away from frozen and canned vegetables, the companies are seeking items that better appeal to modern tastes. Green Giant and Le Sueur generated about $585 million in revenue for General Mills last year.
The Green Giant divestiture is part of a broader trend of strategic buyers shedding non-core brands and food companies have been cleaning their pantries to perhaps make room for better-for-you acquisitions. For more, read Junk Food Sells.
“The sale reinforces General Mills’ strategic priority to shape its portfolio for growth, focusing its resources on the brands, categories and geographic markets that have the greatest future growth opportunities,” the company said in the statement.
-- Demitri Diakantonis contributed to this report