Feb 12 Hormel Foods Corp is in
late-stage talks to acquire Applegate Farms LLC, a privately
held producer of organic hot dogs, bacon and sausages, to
enhance its branded protein offerings, according to people
familiar with the matter.
A deal for Applegate Farms could be announced as early as
next week and value the Bridgewater, New Jersey-based company at
between $600 million and $1 billion, the people said, asking not
to be named because the matter is confidential.
A representative for Applegate Farms could not be reached for
comment. Hormel declined to comment.
Private equity firm Swander Pace invested an undisclosed
amount in Applegate Farms in 2009. The company was founded in
1987 by current CEO Stephen McDonnell.
A sale of Applegate Farms would come amid a slew of merger
activity for meat companies.
Recent high-profile deals in the sector have included
Hershey Co's acquisition of jerky company Krave, Post
Holdings Inc's $2.5 billion acquisition of food
processing company Michael Foods, and Tyson Foods Inc's
$8.6 billion acquisition of packaged meats producer Hillshire
The private equity owners of protein and sandwich supplier
AdvancePierre Foods are also interviewing banks for a near-term
sale of the company, sources told Reuters last week.
Hormel in August acquired Muscle Milk maker CytoSport
Holdings Inc, a sports nutrition drink.
(Reporting by Olivia Oran in New York; Editing by Christian