(Reuters) - ConAgra Foods Inc sealed a deal to buy long-time target Ralcorp Holdings Inc for $5 billion, or $90 per share, after a nearly two-year pursuit. Ralcorp rejected several offers from ConAgra last year and later spun off its cereal business, Post Holdings Inc.
Following are the main events in the chase:
March 22 - ConAgra Foods makes $82 a share cash-and-stock bid for Ralcorp.
May 1 - Ralcorp board rejects an unsolicited offer it received from a third party in March.
May 4 - ConAgra sweetens offer to $86 per share in cash, worth a total $4.9 billion. Ralcorp rejects the offer and adopts a shareholder rights plan.
May 6 - ConAgra hires a proxy solicitor, indicating it is gearing up to attempt a hostile takeover.
June 23 - ConAgra says still wants Ralcorp, but can do without.
July 14 - Ralcorp says plans to hive off its Post Foods cereals unit to create two pure-play companies. ConAgra says proposed acquisition continues to be in best interests of Ralcorp shareholders.
Aug 9 - Ralcorp says to buy Sara Lee’s North American private-label refrigerated dough business for about $545 million.
Aug 12 - ConAgra sweetens its bid to $94 a share, totaling $5.2 billion in cash. Ralcorp again rejects.
Aug 14 - ConAgra says will consider its options after Ralcorp’s latest rejection.
Sept 13 - ConAgra says will walk away from its takeover offer unless Ralcorp enters into negotiations by September 19.
Sept 19 - Ralcorp rejects ConAgra’s bid again.
Nov 11 - ConAgra says to buy National Pretzel Co to expand its presence in private-label food manufacturing.
Nov 29 - ConAgra takes a majority stake in Indian food company Agro Tech Foods Ltd.
Jan 17 - ConAgra agrees to buy Del Monte Canada from an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners.
Feb 6 - Ralcorp completes separation of Post Holdings.
April 17 - ConAgra to acquire breakfast sandwich and sausage maker Odom’s Tennessee Pride.
May 22 - ConAgra buys Kangaroo Brands’ pita chip business.
May 23 - Ralcorp buys private-brand cookie maker, Petri Baking Products.
June 18 - Ralcorp completes the acquisition of Gelit S.r.l., a producer of private-brand, frozen ready meals in Italy.
July 30 - ConAgra strikes a deal to buy Unilever Plc’s North American frozen meal business for $265 million.
Aug 23 - Activist investor Corvex Management, headed by Keith Meister, urges Ralcorp to either sell itself, buy another company, or change its strategy.
Sept 5 - Ralcorp lays out its growth strategy that includes acquisitions and consolidating its existing businesses into one unit.
Sept 27 - Ralcorp agrees to sell its remaining 20 percent stake in Post Holdings to settle about $200 million of debt outstanding as part of a credit agreement.
Oct 3 - Ralcorp appoints Meister to its board.
Nov 27 - ConAgra offers to buy Ralcorp for $90 per share, or $5 billion in cash.
Compiled by Savio D'Souza and Sriraj Kalluvila, Bangalore desk +91 80 4135 5800; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780