Kellogg to buy controlling stake in Brazilian food group Parati

A sign hangs outside the Kellogg's factory near Manchester, Britain March 7, 2016. REUTERS/Phil Noble

(Reuters) - Kellogg Co K.N said it would buy a controlling stake in privately held Brazilian food group Parati for about 1.38 billion reais ($428 million) in cash to expand in emerging markets.

Kellogg, which makes Corn Flakes and Raisin Bran cereals, also said on Thursday it would need to cut back on share repurchases to maintain financial flexibility.

The company said it would buy Ritmo Investments, the controlling shareholder of Parati S/A, Afical Ltda and Pádua Ltda, collectively known as Parati Group.

The all-cash deal is Kellogg’s fourth in emerging markets in the last two years and its biggest in Latin America.

Kellogg said it intends to reduce its planned share repurchases in 2016 to $450 million-$550 million, from its forecast of $700 million-750 million, to save cash.

Parati Group, the maker of Parati, Pádua, Minueto, Zoo Cartoon and Hot Cracker biscuits, has five distribution centers and two production facilities in Brazil, Kellogg said.

“Parati Group is an excellent strategic fit for Kellogg and our business in Latin America,” Kellogg Chief Executive John Bryant said in a statement.

The deal is expected to be neutral to adjusted earnings per share in the first two years after close and add to earnings in 2018 and thereafter, Kellogg said.

Reporting by Abhijith Ganapavaram in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel