On the Street: ConAgra Buys Elan Nutrition

April 13/ConAgra -- ConAgra Foods has bought snack maker Elan Nutrition from private-equity firm Sun Capital Partners. The Elan Nutrition business will be integrated into ConAgra's store brands business, which primarily makes cereal and snack bars sold under retailer labels.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. ConAgra did say the acquisition will allow it to grow its private-label bar business through new product development and extra manufacturing capacity.

Elan Nutrition's manufacturing site in Grand Rapids, Mich., was included in the deal and will operate as a ConAgra Foods plant. All employees will be retained, ConAgra has said.

"Acquiring Elan Nutrition allows us to continue growing and expanding our very successful snack bar business within our consumer foods portfolio," said ConAgra CEO Gary Rodkin, CEO. "We are confident in the growth potential of this important category and expect a smooth integration of Elan Nutrition's business and capabilities into our snacks platform."

ConAgra said that, given the "relatively small size" of the acquisition, the deal will not alter the company's EPS guidance.

Matthew Garff, managing director at Sun Capital, said the company was "very pleased" with "growth trajectory" since acquiring the business in 2003.

"Elan was successful in expanding its customer base, in part due to a creative product development team, and combining that growth with carefully monitoring and improving their production efficiency. As a result of these focused efforts, since 2003, company revenues have more than doubled, with an even more impressive EBITDA expansion," he added.  

From the April 26, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition