The company that changed the way America eats is being sold.
Blackstone Group, according to Bloomberg.com writer Andrew Dunn, is”
“…the worldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s biggest private-equity company.
The Birds Eye purchase is the seventh-largest U.S. private equity deal of 2009 and BlackstoneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s second-biggest of the year, after its planned acquisition of Anheuser-Busch InBev NVÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s theme-park business for as much as $2.7 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.”
The deal will bring together two food companies with well-known brands in the marketplace. Pinnacle owns brands such as Duncan Hines, Vlasic, Log Cabin and Armour. Birds Eye’s own brand is credited with changing the way the nation eats, by perfecting a method of flash-freezing vegetables that didn’t destroy their taste and increased their shelf life in stores.
Birds Eye was bought seven years ago by some of its managers, along with Pro Fac Cooperative and the investment firm Vestar Capital Partners. The company, based in Rochester, closed all of its New York processing plants except for the one in Fulton.
In a news release announcing the sale, Brian K. Ratzan, Managing Director of Vestar Capital Partners indicated that the sale would allow Birds Eye to grow faster. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Pinnacle Foods is a great place for the Birds Eye Brand. It will have the resources of a larger food company platform as it expands its leadership position.Ã¢â‚¬Â