Michael Foods pursuing deals to bolster growth-filing

LOS ANGELES, March 21 Fri Mar 21, 2014 12:31pm EDT

LOS ANGELES, March 21 (Reuters) - Michael Foods Group Inc in early 2014 began seeking "financial and strategic alternatives" to pursue its growth strategy, the privately held company said in a regulatory filing on Friday.

The disclosure from Michael Foods came days after Reuters reported that the egg and dairy products producer owned by Goldman Sachs Group Inc's private equity unit, is in the advanced stage of finding a buyer.

People familiar with the process have previously identified Tyson Foods Inc as the most likely buyer, according to Reuters.

Other parties in talks with the company include food manufacturer TreeHouse Foods Inc and private equity firms Golden Gate Capital and Oaktree Capital Management, Reuters has reported.

"Management's comments bolster our belief that Michael is on the block, as has been reported in the media, and we would not be surprised if Tyson, Hillshire, or TreeHouse were potential suitors," J.P. Morgan analyst Ken Goldman wrote in a client note on Friday.

Minnetonka, Minnesota-based Michael Foods produces and distributes products including specialty eggs, refrigerated potatoes, cheese and other dairy products.

In its filing on Friday, Michael Foods said it "can provide no assurances that it will actually enter into such a transaction or effect any strategic alternatives". (Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; Editing by Sophie Hares)

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