Conagra adds to core business lines with purchase of meat snacks producer

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Conagra Brands Inc. (NYSE: CAG) has agreed to buy meat snacks maker Thanasi Foods LLC for undisclosed terms. The deal is part of Conagra's strategy to revamp its portfolio to focus on consumer brands such as Slim Jim and Chef Boyardee.

Thanasi, based in Boulder, Colorado, produces meat snacks that includes Duke's Smoked Shorty Sausages and Duke's Steak & Brisket Strips. The target's other brand, BIGS, makes sunflower and pumpkin seeds.

"This is another exciting step in our ongoing efforts to reshape our portfolio to be more premium and modern," says Conagra CEO Sean Connolly. Chicago-based Conagra owns the Slim Jim meat sticks and David Seeds Brands.

Before the acquisition was announced, Conagra has been busy shedding assets. At the end of 2016, the company completed the spinoff of the Lamb Weston frozen fries division; Also in 2016, Conagra sold the Spicetec seasonings and flavors business to Givaudan; And in that same year, Conagra sold food ingredients distributor JM Swank to Platinum Equity. Strategic buyers are reshuffling their businesses by shedding slow-growing brands and making acquisitions in their core divisions in an effort to boost profitability.

Houlihan Lokey Inc. (NYSE: HLI) and Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP are advising Thanasi. Jones Day is representing Conagra.

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