February 18, 2014 / 4:45 PM / in 4 years

UPDATE 1-General Mills shopping for food deals in emerging markets

BOCA RATON, Fla., Feb 18 (Reuters) - U.S. packaged foods group General Mills is looking to expand its business in faster-growing emerging markets, it said on Tuesday, as growth in its home market remains weak.

“We continue to look at tuck-in opportunities around the world,” Chief Executive Ken Powell said on Tuesday at a conference in Boca Raton, Florida.

The company behind Yoplait yogurt, Cheerios cereal and Haagen-Dazs ice cream said it was “actively investigating” expansion opportunities in India, Indonesia, the Middle East and North Africa.

General Mills could easily digest within a year an acquisition worth up to roughly $1 billion, Chief Financial Officer Don Mulligan told reporters. The company is interested in those markets, in areas such as simple meals, ice cream, yoghurt or snacks.

The company also said it was working to expand Yoplait in China with a new factory it started building in December. It said it was working with Sodiaal, the French dairy cooperative which co-owns Yoplait, to secure supply for the market.

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