Jimmy Dean-Maker Hillshire Brands Buys Vlasic-Maker Pinnacle Foods For $4.3B

How does Duncan Hines chocolate cake, Vlasic pickles and Jimmy Dean sausage sound for breakfast? While the line-up has always been a possibility for those with, ahem, interesting cravings, now those seemingly different menu items have something pretty big in common: their parent company.

Chicago-based Hillshire Brands Co., the company known for its sunny Jimmy Dean breakfast commercials and plethora of flavored hot-dogs, announced it is purchasing Pinnacle Foods Inc., the company behind Vlasic and Duncan Hines, for the hefty price tag of $4.3 billion, Bloomberg reports.

Serving more than 85% of American households, Pinnacle currently has the No. 1 or No. 2 market position in 10 of 13 grocery categories. The acquisition will give Hillshire its largest presence at the grocery store with name brands such as Hungry-Man frozen dinners, Birds Eye Frozen foods and Pinnacle’s recently purchased Wish-Bone salad dressings.

(FYI: Pinnacle is the answer to three different questions in this recent Consumerist Quiz about the corporate owners of your favorite food brands.)

Officials with Hillshire expect the purchase to create $140 million in annual savings because of supply chain improvements and consolidation expenses. Both Hillshire and Pinnacle’s boards have approved the recent deal, which is expected to close by September.

The acquisition marks the third in less than 12 months for Hillshire. Last month, the company purchased Van’s Natural Foods for $165 million. In September 2013, it purchased gourmet jerky maker Golden Island for $35 million.

And the purchasing-blitz doesn’t appear to be quite done for Hillshire. Both Hillshire and Pinnacle were the rumored front-runners for Unilever’s Ragu pasta sauces.

Hillshire Brands to Buy Pinnacle Foods for $4.3 Billion [Bloomberg]

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