Sector News

Frozen meals company Bellisio Foods seeks sale: sources

August 3, 2015
Food & Drink
(Reuters) – Bellisio Foods Inc, a U.S. maker and distributor of frozen meals sold under the Boston Market and Chili’s brands, is exploring a sale it hopes could value it as much as $800 million, including debt, according to people familiar with the matter.
 
Bellisio’s private equity owner, Centre Partners Management LLC, has held talks with investment banks in recent weeks to appoint a financial adviser that will run an auction for the company, the people said this week.
 
Bellisio may attract suitors that include Nomad Foods Ltd (NHL.L), a special purpose acquisition vehicle that counts billionaire investor William Ackman’s hedge fund as an investor, some of the people said. Nomad recently purchased Britain’s Iglo Foods Holdings Ltd, whose brands include Birds Eye, for 2.6 billion euros ($2.83 billion).
 
The sources asked not to be identified because the sale process is confidential. Bellisio, Centre and Nomad did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
 
Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Bellisio’s frozen meals are found in supermarkets and retail grocers under the Michelina’s, Boston Market and Chili’s at Home brand names. The company also serves customers in the branded retail, private label and food service sectors. It had $599 million in revenue in the 12 months ending Dec. 28, according to Moody’s Investors Service Inc.
 
Bellisio was acquired by New York-based Centre Partners in 2011 for an undisclosed amount from its founder Jeno Paulucci, a serial food industry entrepreneur who passed away soon after he agreed to sell the company.
 
An auction for Bellisio would follow General Mills Inc’s (GIS.N) sale process for its frozen vegetable brand Green Giant, amid tough market conditions favoring fresher food products.
 
Despite the frozen food industry’s struggles, Bellisio may be better positioned than some of its peers, due to its fortified relationships with popular franchises and cost-conscious shoppers who stay loyal to the freezer aisle, according to an industry source.
 
(Reporting by Lauren Hirsch in New York; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

comments closed

Related News

February 4, 2023

Unilever names FrieslandCampina’s Hein Schumacher as next CEO

Food & Drink

Schumacher will replace Alan Jope, who announced his decision to retire last September, less than a year after a failed attempt by Unilever to buy GlaxoSmithKline’s consumer healthcare business and just months after activist investor Nelson Peltz joined the company’s board.

February 4, 2023

Tetra Pak execs flag plant-based ice cream development hurdles as indulgent offerings expand

Food & Drink

Globally, plant-based ice creams have doubled their share of the market over the last five years, according to Tetra Pack. Pea protein and coconut milk are leading the way, but Tetra Pak cites data showing that oat-based ice cream launches have doubled in the previous year.

February 4, 2023

Examining the meaning of eco-labels: Is it time for mandated methodology?

Food & Drink

A myriad of so-called eco-labels are being rolled out across various F&B products, but with no gold standard or strict rules governing precisely what the logos mean and what methodology is behind them, concerns are growing that they will confuse consumers and ultimately be counterproductive.

How can we help you?

We're easy to reach