TIMELINE-Flowers Foods' history through acquisitions

Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:28pm EST

Feb 21 (Reuters) - Key events in the history of Flowers Foods, a company that has grown through acquisitions to become the second-largest baking company in the United States.

* 1919 - Flowers Baking Co founded by brothers William Howard Flowers and Joseph Hampton Flowers in Thomasville, Georgia. The bakery produces 30,000 loaves of bread every day.

* 1937 - Flowers Baking acquires small bakery in Tallahassee, Florida, marking the start of its growth through acquisitions.

* Mid 1960s - Purchases bakeries in Panama City, Florida, and Opelika, Alabama. Opens a new bakery in Jacksonville, Florida.

* 1967 - Acquires the Atlanta Baking Company in Atlanta, Georgia, its biggest acquisition so far.

* 1968 - Initial public offering (IPO) on the Over-the-Counter (OTC) Exchange. Flowers Bakery becomes Flowers Industries.

* 1969 - Company lists on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol 'FLO'.

* 1976 - Enters the frozen food business by acquiring Stilwell Foods of Stilwell, Oklahoma, along with its Rio Grande Foods unit of McAllen, Texas.

* 1977 - Introduces a new line of breads called Nature's Own, which becomes one of the fastest selling varieties of breads in the southeastern United States.

* 1991 - Acquires Pies, Inc., marking its entrance to the frozen food service dessert market.

* 1996 - Forms a joint venture with Artal Luxembourg Corporation SA's U.S. subsidiary, Invus Group Ltd., and through the joint venture acquires Keebler Corp for about $487 million.

Acquires Mrs. Smiths Inc to strengthen its position in the frozen dessert market.

* 1997 - Acquires Allied Bakery Products, a maker of frozen breads for the foodservice industry in the northeastern United States.

* 1998 - Spins off Keebler Foods in an IPO and increases ownership in the company to 55 percent.

* 2001 - Kellogg Inc acquires Keebler Corp. Remaining business units - Flowers bakeries and Mrs. Smith bakeries - spun off into a new company called Flowers Foods Inc.

* 2002 - Flowers Foods restructures its company into three business units: Flowers Bakeries, Flowers Snack and Mrs. Smith's bakeries.

* 2003 - Sells Mrs. Smith's frozen dessert business to the Schwan Food Co. Restructures into two operating groups: Bakeries and Specialty.

* 2004 - Buys assets of a closed bread and bun bakery in Houston, Texas from the Sara Lee Bakery group.

* 2005 - Acquires Royal Cake Co, a balery which makes cookies, cereal bars and creme-filled cakes in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

* 2006 - Acquires Derst Baking Co in Savannah, Georgia.

* 2007 - Purchases Key Mix Corp in Sykesville, Maryland which produces mixes used in the baking industry.

* 2008 - Acquires fresh bread and rolls-maker ButterKrust in Lakeland, Florida; merges with Holsum, which operates 2 bakeries in Phoenix, Arizona.

* 2009 - Purchases bakery mix operation in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; expands presence in the tortilla market by acquiring Leo's foods in Fort Worth, Texas.

* 2011 - Acquires cake maker Tastykake to grow beyond the South and into the mid-Atlantic states, where Tasktykake had its largest market.

* 2012 - Acquires Maine-based Lepage Bakeries for $370 million. Announces it will buy some assets and licenses from Bimbo Bakeries, a part of Grupo Bimbo SAB de CV, for $50 million, giving it access to the Sara Lee and Earthgrains brands in California.

* Jan. 11, 2013 - Hostess Brands selects Flowers Foods as "stalking horse" bidder for its bread business. Flowers agrees to set a floor price of $390 million for the assets.

Source: Company website, filings

Answers.com (r.reuters.com/zyw75t) (Compiled by Siddharth Cavale in Bangalore)