Big Heart Pet Brands to be Acquired by The J.M. Smucker Company
San Francisco, February 3, 2015 – Big Heart Pet Brands today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by The J.M. Smucker Company (“Smucker”) (NYSE: SJM), in a cash and stock transaction valued at approximately $5.8 billion. The transaction is expected to close by the end of Big Heart Pet Brands’ current fiscal year, which ends on May 3, 2015, subject to customary closing conditions including receipt of required regulatory approvals.
“We are pleased to join the Smucker Company and their family of iconic brands,” said Dave West, President and Chief Executive Officer of Big Heart Pet Brands. “Given the strong alignment between Big Heart Pet Brands’ and Smucker’s purposes and values, I’m confident that Smucker is a great fit for our brand portfolio. Our sponsor owners have been great partners as we invested in growing our business and capabilities to drive value creation, and our iconic pet food and snack brands have significant growth potential. Smucker will provide the resources and scale to help our brands continue to grow and flourish.”
Big Heart Pet Brands is headquartered in San Francisco, California and is currently owned by a consortium of investors led by funds affiliated with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. (“KKR”), Vestar Capital Partners (“Vestar”) and Centerview Capital (“Centerview”).
Big Heart Pet Brands changed its name from Del Monte Corporation following the divestiture of its Consumer Products business and namesake Del Monte brand on February 18, 2014. On March 8, 2011, Del Monte Foods was acquired and taken private by KKR, Vestar and Centerview.
“The teamwork between our private equity partners and the Big Heart Pet Brands management team has grown and strengthened Big Heart Pet Brands’ leadership in the dynamic pet food category,” said a senior executive group from KKR, Vestar and Centerview. “Innovation and exciting new products, combined with enhanced support of its flagship brands, has positioned Big Heart Pet Brands for additional success. We owe a depth of gratitude to Dave West and the entire Big Heart Pet Brands team, who have built a best-in-class pet food and snacks company. We’re confident that Big Heart Pet Brands can look ahead to continued success in the sector as part of the Smucker family. We look forward to benefiting from this synergistic combination as a meaningful shareholder in Smucker going forward.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Big Heart Pet Brands’ shareholders will receive 17.9 million shares of Smucker common stock and $1.3 billion in cash. Smucker will also refinance $2.6 billion of Big Heart Pet Brands’ debt.
Upon close of the transaction, Dave West will serve as president of Smucker’s new pet food business.
Smucker is a leading marketer and manufacturer of fruit spreads, retail packaged coffee, peanut butter, shortening and oils, ice cream toppings, sweetened condensed milk, and natural foods products in North America. Its family of brands includes Smucker’s,® Folgers,® Dunkin’ Donuts,® Jif, ® Crisco,® Pillsbury,® Eagle Brand,® R.W. Knudsen Family,® Hungry Jack,® Millstone,® Cafe Bustelo,® Café Pilon,® truRoots,® White Lily,® Martha White,® and Sahale Snacks® in the United States, along with Robin Hood,® Five Roses,® Carnation,® and Bick’s® in Canada.
Morgan Stanley & Co. and Centerview Partners acted as financial advisors, and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP acted as legal advisor to Big Heart Pet Brands.