Hormel Foods Corp. (NYSE: HRL) will buy the Skippy peanut butter brand from Unilever United States Inc. for $700 million.
Skippy peanut butter makes 11 peanut butter products, including super chuck and honey nut creamy peanut butter, and is sold in more than 30 countries.
Englewood Cliffs, N.J.-based Unilever makes various products, including Vaseline, soap brands Dove and Suave, as well as the Klondike and Popsicle ice cream brands.
The company announced in October that it was looking to shop Skippy peanut butter to potential buyers, as a means of maintaining a focus on health, beauty and other personal-care products, while shifting its focus away from the food business. At the time, Skippy was reportedly valued up to $400 million.
Hormel Foods makes meat products, and owns the Spam, Jennie-O and Hormel Chili brands. The acquisition puts it in direct competition with J.M. Smucker Co. (NYSE: SJM), which owns the Jif peanut butter brand.
Barclays plc is serving as Hormel Foods' financial adviser, while Lazard ran the sale process for Unilever.
The deal adds to an M&A trend in the food space, continued from 2012. Other recent food deals include High Road Capital Partners’ purchase of Ry-Con Specialty Foods Inc., Arca Continental SAB de CV’s purchase of Wise Foods and Arbor Investment’s purchase of Columbus Manufacturing, which makes cured meats.