Mizkan Group, a condiment manufacturer, has entered into a definitive agreement with Conopco Inc., a subsidiary of Unilever, under which it will acquire the Ragu and Bertolli pasta sauce brand portfolio. Under the terms of the agreement, Mizkan will pay $2.15 billion. Through the acquisition, Mizkan expects to enhance the company’s focus on its North American branded business through the addition of iconic brands with broad recognition and customer loyalty. In addition, the acquisition will further expand and strengthen its U.S. operations by leveraging synergies with Mizkan’s American business, while developing a more balanced global operation, diversifying away from a focus on the Japanese market.
“We are very pleased to welcome Ragu and Bertolli, two of America’s most well-known brands, to the Mizkan family,” said Kazuhide Nakano, Chairman and CEO Mizkan Holdings Co. Ltd. “This transaction represents an important milestone in our global expansion strategy. We are confident that this transaction allows us to further achieve our objectives of diversification and expansion of our international footprint.”
The transaction includes two production facilities—a sauce processing and packaging facility in Owensboro, Ky., and a tomato processing facility in Stockton, Calif. The completion of the transaction is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including the receipt of requisite regulatory approvals. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of June 2014.