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ConAgra Foods buys Ralcorp, parent company of Buckner plant

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By Jacquelyn Stoess Hack

ConAgra Foods announced a hefty purchase this morning to stock their pantry.

ConAgra, owner of Banquet, Chef Boyardee, Egg Beaters, Healthy Choice, Hebrew National, Hunt's, Marie Callender's, Orville Redenbacher's, PAM, Peter Pan, Reddi-wip, Slim Jim and Snack Pack food brands, has acquired Ralcorp Holdings Inc.

Ralcorp, valued at $6.8 billion including debt, is the largest manufacturer of private label food in the United States and is the parent company of Carriage House, which operates a plant in Buckner.

The acquisition creates one of the largest packaged food companies in North America, with sales of approximately $18 billion annually and more than 36,000 employees.

Kevin J. Hunt, chief executive officer and president of Ralcorp, said in a press release that he believes the two companies are a great fit.

"Our employees will benefit as part of a larger diversified organization with the necessary scale and resources to be a leader in today’s rapidly evolving marketplace," he said.

The acquisition of Ralcorp adds to ConAgra Foods’ existing private label business of about $950 million to create the largest private label packaged food business in North America, with about $4.5 billion in combined annual private label sales.

Look for more information about the acquisition in the Nov. 29 edition of The Oldham Era.