ConAgra Foods’ buying spree continues with Odom’s Tennessee Pride deal

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Snack food Conagra foods

ConAgra Foods’ buying spree continues with Odom’s Tennessee Pride deal
ConAgra Foods has made its third acquisition in six months after striking a deal to buy Odom's Tennessee Pride, a leading producer of frozen and refrigerated breakfast sandwiches and sausages, for an undisclosed sum.

The deal, which is expected to close in the next six weeks, follows the acquisition of private label snack maker National Pretzel Company in November 2011 and packaged fruit, veg and snacks maker Del Monte Canada in January 2012.

A ‘key adjacency’ to frozen meals business

Odom’s, which has plants in Little Rock, Arkansas, and Dickson, Tennessee, employs approximately 750 staff and has a turnover of more than $190m. Its corporate headquarters are in Madison, Tennessee.

The second largest producer of frozen breakfast sandwiches in the US, Odom’s will build ConAgra’s capabilities in frozen breakfasts, a “key adjacency​” to its frozen meals business, said ConAgra Foods chief executive Gary Rodkin.

"The acquisition of Odom's Tennessee Pride will build on our strong position in frozen meals and allow us to leverage our existing innovation, marketing and distribution abilities.”

A spokesman told FoodNavigator-USA: "Generally, this acquisition agreement is consistent with our growth strategy. It will allow us to expand our core position as a leader in frozen meals into the rapidly-growing adjacent segments of frozen breakfast and snacking. Odom’s Tennessee Pride is a good strategic fit in this regard."

As regards ConAgra's plans for the two Odom's facilities and future staffing arrangements, he added: "We would not make any operational decisions until the deal closes, which we expect to happen in the next 45 days, subject to customary conditions."

A pipeline of alternatives to Ralcorp…

ConAgra, which made multiple abortive attempts to buy Ralcorp​ last year, would be pursuing a “pipeline of alternatives​” after walking away from Ralcorp, said Rodkin last year.

“We will continue to pursue opportunities where there is a strategic fit and a good financial return.

“We are ready and willing to leverage our capabilities and our balance sheet to create value by investing for growth. And we will do so with discipline.”

Omaha-based ConAgra Foods is one of the biggest food companies in the US and is organized into two businesses: Consumer Foods, which sells grocery brands such as Healthy Choice and Egg Beaters; and Commercial Foods, which supplies specialty products to foodservice and manufacturing customers including frozen potato products, flours and Spicetec flavors and seasonings.

Click here​ to read about ConAgra's petition to the FDA for a qualified health claim over whole grains and type 2 diabetes risk.

Click here​ to read about ConAgra's legal spat with ADM over white whole wheat flour.

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