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   Strategies & Market TrendsSpeculating in Takeover Targets


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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (3734)9/1/2014 12:33:53 AM
From: richardred
   of 6452
 
Now here's a new initiative buy a foreign Gov't I haven't ever heard of before.

>the South Korean government has told the company to put its cash to work or risk a fine

Samsung under pressure to spend (RCR Mobile Minute)

Mobile Minute:
Samsung could be shopping for acquisitions soon — the South Korean government has told the company to put its cash to work or risk a fine. The government has its eye on Samsung’s $60 billion cash pile and would like to see that money distributed to households as dividends paid to Samsung shareholders. (Corporate profits have been growing faster than household income in South Korea.)
The government is proposing a 10% tax on “excess” cash held by large companies, and lawmakers would have the authority to define “excess.” If the law passes, companies that want to avoid the tax will have some choice about how they get their cash out into the economy. Dividends are certainly one option, but Samsung may instead choose a strategic acquisition or two. Even before the latest moves by lawmakers, analysts were predicting that Samsung would look for an acquisition that could expand its footprint. There are several struggling smartphone makers that Samsung could swallow, but the company might also branch out into a related industry, like software. It already makes devices, chips, and network gear, so networking software could be the next logical extension.

rcrwireless.com

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From: richardred9/1/2014 12:42:22 AM
   of 6452
 
On the money: Hormel still looking for M&A
By Dean Best | 22 August 2014




Hormel acquired Muscle Milk owner CytoSport earlier this month

US group Hormel Foods has been busy looking for acquisitions in recent quarters, succeeding in some places and apparently being thwarted elsewhere. Announcing its third-quarter results yesterday (21 August), the Skippy peanut butter maker indicated it was ready to make more deals.

Hormel has made two acquisitions in the last 18 months. In June, the company announced a deal to buy US sports nutrition group CytoSport, the owner of brands including Muscle Milk protein drinks. At the start of 2013, Hormel swooped to buy the Skippy brand from Unilever for around US$700m.

The acquisitions have both helped to further diversify a company founded in the 1890s on pork and one which, while still investing in building a value-added pork products business, has been looking to expand into other parts of the industry to reduce the impact of raw material volatility.

However, not all of Hormel's acquisition attempts have been successful. It was reported to have been interested in Unilever's North American cooking sauces business, which ended up being sold to Japan's Mizkan Group.

After Hormel's third-quarter results were announced yesterday - numbers that included earnings per share that beat Wall Street forecasts - analysts quizzed the group about its M&A ambitions and the company said it was ready to pounce again.

"We certainly have the bandwidth to do another acquisition," investor relations director Jana Haynes said.

Haynes said Hormel's Specialty Foods division, the part of the business into which CytoSport is being integrated, "might have trouble doing another one right on top" of that deal, but she added: "We certainly would have the ability to do it from an organisational perspective. It's finding the right transaction that has the strategic fit, that has the number one or number two brand, looking for something that is accretive to our margins and where we can really add some value."

Hormel has enjoyed rising sales and profits in the year to date. However, analysts believe the company needs to make more deals to hit its long-term targets. Hormel has been investing in building a broader business through acquisitions and looked to add value to its pork business through innovation but some industry watchers believe M&A is needed to boost its growth prospects.

"Hormel generates much of its profits from mature categories with limited organic growth prospects, so we believe management will need acquisitions if it is to reach its long-term targets of 5% sales and 10% earnings growth," Morningstar analyst Liang Feng wrote last month.

Analysts were keen to hear more about Hormel's plans for CytoSport. Jeffrey Ettinger, Hormel's chairman, president and CEO, said the company had been asked in the wake of the deal what "Hormel brings to the party when it comes to the acquisition".

He said: "We have knowledge of manufacturing and of the category, that perhaps has been overlooked a little bit, I mean our Specialty Foods group is a less branded group, and so sometimes doesn't get talked about quite as much, but we've been manufacturing both powdered and ready-to-drink protein items for over ten years with our Century Foods business unit that's under Specialty Foods. This was a great opportunity to bring a branded catalyst for that group to build apply that knowledge, the way we do in the rest of our companies to a branded item."

Ettinger said Hormel could improve CytoSport's distribution and boost the company's recent performance through NPD. The Hormel boss claimed CytoSport had admitted it had lost focus while the business was being sold.

"We feel we're going to be able to bring deeper sales and category management skills to the largest market for this product line, which is the food, drug and mass market where we sell so many of our other items," Ettinger said.

"We also feel our innovation track record bodes well in terms of coming up with great new items that would fit under this brand. We're very early on; the category growth that we're looking at is still very significant. Our feeling and even the prior management kind of conceded to us there was prior a little bit of lack of focus as they were in the sale process ... and so their share has not quite kept up with all the category growth, but notwithstanding that, I mean it still grew in terms of both the ready-to-drink components ... so it should be a great growth catalyst for Hormel going forward."

Strategically, Ettinger said central to the CytoSport acquisition was to further tailor Hormel's business towards more convenient products, in tune with consumer trends in the US.

"We ... had identified that we really thought we needed to provide more on the go offerings, and so hence our innovation with Rev, that was a big motivator frankly behind the Muscle Milk acquisition was that – people are viewing those items in many cases as meal replacements, consumed on-the-go. And so again we are looking in most cases for leading share brands that we can drive with our marketing and hopefully operate on an efficient basis."

Morningstar's Feng does have a note of caution about Hormel's M&A ambitions. "While we are impressed with management’s execution, we are wary of blindly assuming that Hormel's unannounced acquisitions will generate excess returns and close the shortfall. CPG acquirers have bid up transaction multiples due to cheap financing, so it will be difficult for Hormel to identify opportunities that meet its return threshold, especially since the firm has rarely strayed from its net cash position."

just-food.com


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To: richardred who wrote (3747)9/1/2014 1:58:37 AM
From: Glenn Petersen
   of 6452
 
lawmakers would have the authority to define “excess.”

That's scary.

Firms with excess cash might end up making bad acquisitions that will ultimately hurt their shareholders.

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To: richardred who wrote (3747)9/1/2014 10:15:39 AM
From: Ahda
   of 6452
 
If you had a world economic situation where growth was increasing all over the globe you would never run into must spend cannot have a bad end. Low interest make it easy to expand it gets even easier when you have to much cash on hand.

The currency spent on economic forecasts within large corps is enormous. If their future projections were high growth,money would be flowing to create new business everywhere. The entire business globe would take advantage of low interest rates and surplus cash because they anticipated increased consumer demand.

Economies cannot be engineered though gov's attempt the no free all fixed type thing. It looks like engineering in this case could paralyze with the aid of ridiculous rulings. Here we have the capital you have created is not yours to do with as you feel fit it is mine so I tell you what you can do with it. With this type of attitude So Korea will be take over candidate for North.

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To: Ahda who wrote (3750)9/1/2014 12:02:09 PM
From: richardred
   of 6452
 
>With this type of attitude So Korea will be take over candidate for North.

It has been on their list for many many years.
One thing we do know. There's strict border control. <g>

RE: pipedream
Message 27062839

P.S. Buffett snip relating to S K-"We own in the area of 4% of Posco. It's an incredible steel company," he said. "We're looking at buying entire businesses in Korea. We're looking at buying large-cap businesses here. Korea has a number of large companies obviously. It's a hunting ground."

Berkshire Hathaway, which bought into Posco in 2006, currently owns about 4.5% of the company, according to the Korean steelmaker.

At a meeting with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, Mr. Buffett described the country as a "promising market" and said he will introduce the success of South Korea at the next shareholders' meeting of his company.

Message 27252818

Update:
Buffett's Posco Bet Paying Off After lots of ups and downs, the Korean steel producer appears ready to chalk up big gains Other Asian stakes: BYD and PetroChina

By
Assif Shameen

Aug. 23, 2014 2:53 a.m. ET
Legendary investor Warren Buffett has made only three major bets on Asia. His first, on PetroChina, which he cashed out of six years ago, turned out to be a seven-bagger. Berkshire's other two Asian plays -- Korean steel giant Posco and China's BYD, a maker of electric and conventional cars -- have taken a bit longer to play out.

In 2002, Berkshire bought 1.3% of PetroChina (ticker: PTR) for $488 million, selling its stake in the oil giant for a $3.5 billion gain in 2008, just before the global financial crisis. And days after Lehman Brothers collapsed in September 2008, Buffett was seeking distressed Asian assets. Berkshire bought 9.9% of car maker BYD (1211.Hong Kong) for HK$8 (US$1.03) a share, or a total of US$230 million. In the next 18 months, the stock soared to HK$85, only to plunge 86% thereafter. BYD now is around HK$51, giving Berkshire a paper profit topping US$1.2 billion. However, prospects for the company, which makes most of its money from gas-powered vehicles, remain mixed in a crowded Chinese market.

Buffett's bet on Posco, the world's fifth-largest steel maker, has been the most trying. In 2007, Berkshire invested $1.1 billion for 4.6% of the company (5490.Korea). (Posco and BYD both have American depositary shares, traded, respectively, under the symbols PKX and BYDDY. ) At current prices, Buffett's Posco stake is worth $1.34 billion, for a pretty meager 22% gain over seven years. Posco stock peaked at 685,000 Korean won ($673) just months after Buffett revealed that he had invested in it. Posco has been bogged down by overcapacity among steel makers, falling margins, a strong won, and a weak global economy over the past six years. By early March, it was at KW272,000, more than 60% below its peak.

But now, "the worst is over," contends Cindy Park, a Nomura analyst in Seoul.

MINSEOK SINN OF CREDIT SUISSE in Seoul concurs: "Capacity expansion in China is over, continued weakness of raw-material prices are a positive, and improving demand from the local shipbuilding industry later this year should help swell" Posco's results. The stock is up 19% over the past 10 weeks, on improving industry fundamentals and Posco's change into a leaner, more focused player, says Park. CEO Kwon Oh-joon, who took over in March, has vowed to de-emphasize growth for growth's sake, focusing instead on profitability. Posco passed on acquiring rival Dongbu Steel (016380.Korea) this year, because it would have imposed a big financial burden. "Posco wants to improve operating profits from KW3 trillion ($2.93 billion) last year to KW6 trillion in 2015," says Park, who views that as achievable "if they can turn around their overseas plants, focus on selling higher-end steel products, dispose of more of their non-core assets and cut debt" from the current $19 billion. Kwon has already put the firm's 72% stake in Posco Specialty Steel on the block; it could fetch $1 billion.

Sinn expects Posco's earnings per share to grow 41.4%, to KW22,146 this year, and another 21.1% next year, to KW29,299. The Credit Suisse analyst's target for the stock is KW400,000, meaning he sees 21% upside. The shares trade at 13.3 times this year's expected earnings, or 0.6 times price to book, and have a 2.5% dividend yield. Adds Park: "I have covered the stock for 10 years and Posco has undergone a lot of pain in recent years, but it is finally looking like a turnaround story." That's just the way Buffett likes it.

online.barrons.com

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (3749)9/1/2014 12:37:43 PM
From: richardred
   of 6452
 
Yes it is. Samsung has a huge US market. In keeping with the spirit of this thread. I think Cree would make a good acquisition for them. Why, I think they need to establish themself as a leader in the led lighting, and Cree would do this.
global-science-technologies.com

RE: Inversions
Recently it seems US laissez faire is waning. However Lobby faire is still alive and well.

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To: richardred who wrote (2762)9/3/2014 10:08:18 AM
From: richardred
   of 6452
 
1-800-Flowers to Buy Harry & David
By MICHAEL J. DE LA MERCED September 2, 2014 7:44 amSeptember 2, 2014 8:04 am
Already one of the biggest providers of flower deliveries, 1-800-Flowers.com now wants to add Royal Riviera pears and Moose Munch snacks to its offerings.

The flower delivery company agreed on Tuesday to buy Harry & David, the purveyor of gift baskets, for $142.5 million in cash.

Under the terms of the deal, 1-800-Flowers would continue to run Harry & David as a subsidiary, with the current management staying on.

The deal comes more than three years after Harry & David filed for bankruptcy, a response to recession-related shopping woes. Since then, the retailer has increased both sales and earnings, with revenue reaching nearly $400 million in its most recently reported fiscal year, the companies said in a statement.

“This announcement is a clear endorsement of the remarkable work that our talented company has put in over the past several years to rebuild the iconic Harry & David brand,” Craig Johnson, Harry & David’s chief executive, said in a statement.

Adding Harry & David will push 1-800-Flowers’ annual revenue to more than $1 billion, while also leading to potential cost savings at the two companies.

Financing for the deal will be provided by JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo.

1-800-Flowers relied on advice from Wells Fargo and the law firm Cahill Gordon & Reindel. Harry & David used Centerview Partners, Piper Jaffray and the law firm Jones Day as advisers.

dealbook.nytimes.com

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To: richardred who wrote (3417)9/4/2014 1:14:24 PM
From: richardred
   of 6452
 
RE: BOLT

Oh well. Sold a year to early.
Message 27684656

Teledyne to Acquire Bolt Technology Corporation



THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. and NORWALK, Conn., Sept. 3, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Teledyne Technologies Incorporated ( TDY) ("Teledyne") and Bolt Technology Corporation ( BOLT) ("Bolt") jointly announced today that they have entered into a definitive agreement that provides for the merger of Bolt with a wholly-owned subsidiary of Teledyne. Pursuant to the transaction, Teledyne will acquire all of the outstanding common shares of Bolt for $22.00 per share payable in cash. The definitive agreement contemplates that Bolt will pay its previously announced quarterly dividend of $0.09 per common share, payable on October 2, 2014, to stockholders of record on September 3, 2014. The aggregate value for the transaction is approximately $171 million, taking into account Bolt's stock options and net cash as of March 31, 2014. The transaction was unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of Teledyne and Bolt. In addition, Bolt's directors and executive officers have agreed to vote their shares in favor of the transaction.

Since 1965, Bolt has been a leading supplier of marine seismic energy sources and replacement parts for offshore energy exploration. Bolt also develops and manufactures high-reliability underwater cables and connectors, as well as related electronic controllers, monitoring systems and other auxiliary equipment. Through its SeaBotix business, Bolt is a leading designer and manufacturer of miniature underwater remotely operated vehicles (Mini ROVs) used in maritime security, search and rescue, aquaculture, and scientific research applications.

"Bolt will broaden our rich portfolio of marine instrumentation with a number of highly complementary products," said Dr. Robert Mehrabian, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Teledyne. "Bolt's geophysical acoustic sources will fit well with our existing hydrophone arrays, which listen for the echoes from these sound sources. Bolt would also bring unique connector technology, products and customers to our subsea interconnect businesses. Finally, SeaBotix expands our marine systems business by adding inspection-class ROVs to our autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), while also providing more platforms to use our extensive line of marine sensors."

Raymond M. Soto, Bolt's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "This transaction rewards our shareholders, while providing exciting opportunities for both our customers and employees. Our respective companies have complementary products and technology, and given Teledyne's resources, we believe that we can accelerate the development of new products, such as our environmentally friendly marine seismic energy source."

Johnson Rice & Company L.L.C. is acting as exclusive financial advisor and Levett Rockwood P.C. and Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP are acting as legal counsel to Bolt. McGuireWoods LLP is acting as legal counsel to Teledyne.

About Teledyne Technologies

Teledyne Technologies is a leading provider of sophisticated instrumentation, digital imaging products and software, aerospace and defense electronics, and engineered systems. Teledyne Technologies' operations are primarily located in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Western and Northern Europe. For more information, visit Teledyne Technologies' website at www.teledyne.com.

About Bolt Technology Corporation

Bolt Technology Corporation is a leading worldwide developer and manufacturer of marine seismic data acquisition equipment used for offshore oil and natural gas exploration. Bolt, through its SeaBotix Inc. subsidiary, is also a developer and manufacturer of remotely operated robotic vehicles systems used for a variety of underwater tasks.

Additional Information About the Acquisition and Where to Find It

This press release is for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an offer to purchase shares of Bolt Technology Corporation or a solicitation or recommendation statement under the rules and regulations of the SEC. Bolt will publicly file a Form 8-K with the SEC containing the terms of the definitive merger agreement, and plans to mail a proxy statement to stockholders of Bolt in connection with the proposed transaction. Investors and security holders of Bolt are urged to read the proxy statement and other relevant materials when they become available because they will contain important information about Teledyne, Bolt and the proposed transaction. Investors and security holders may obtain a free copy of these materials (when they are available) and other documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission at the SEC's web site at www.sec.gov. A free copy of the proxy statement, when it becomes available, may also be obtained from Bolt Technology Corporation, Four Duke Place, Norwalk, Connecticut 06854, Attn: Investor Relations. In addition, investors and security holders may access copies of the documents filed with the SEC by Bolt on Bolt's web site at www.bolt-technology.com. Bolt, Teledyne and their executive officers and directors may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies from its stockholders with respect to the proposed transaction. Information regarding the interests of the officers and directors of Bolt in the proposed transaction will be included in the proxy statement, and information regarding the officers and directors of Teledyne is included in its most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and its most recent Proxy Statement filed with the SEC. The consummation of the proposed transaction is subject to the approval of Bolt's stockholders as well as other customary closing conditions, including clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.

Forward-Looking Information Cautionary Notice

This press release contains forward-looking statements, as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, with respect to management's beliefs about the financial condition, results of operations and businesses of Teledyne and Bolt in the future. Forward-looking information involves risks and uncertainties, is based on the current expectations of the management of Bolt and Teledyne and is subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances. The forward-looking information contained herein may include statements about the expected effects on Teledyne of the transaction, the anticipated timing and scope of the transaction, expected timing of the completion of the transaction, anticipated earnings enhancements, estimated cost savings and other synergies, costs to be incurred in achieving synergies, anticipated capital expenditures and product developments, other strategic options and all other statements in this announcement other than historical facts. Forward-looking information includes, without limitation, statements typically containing words such as "intends", "expects", "anticipates", "targets", "estimates" and words of similar import. By its nature, forward-looking information is not a guarantee of future performance or results and involves risks and uncertainties because it relates to events and depends on circumstances that will occur in the future. Actual results could differ materially from this forward-looking information. Many factors could change anticipated results, including Teledyne's ability to integrate Bolt's operations, retain customers and key employees and achieve operating synergies, the ability to develop and market new competitive products, risks associated with global economic conditions and fluctuations in offshore energy activity, failure of the requisite number of Bolts stockholders to approve the transaction, operating results of Bolt being lower than anticipated, and unexpected acquisition-related costs and expenses. Certain of these and other factors that could affect Bolt's business are discussed in Bolt's Annual Report for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013 and Bolt's Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the periods ending September 30, 2013, December 31, 2013 and March 31, 2014. Additional information concerning factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements is contained in Teledyne's periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its 2013 Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Neither Teledyne nor Bolt undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

finance.yahoo.com

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To: richardred who wrote (3746)9/9/2014 10:26:50 AM
From: richardred
   of 6452
 
New buy today. To add to an existing position today MCF-Contango Oil & Gas Company. IMO it would make a nice niche addition for ECA who wants to get oily again. IMO It most likely can be bought for around 1 billion. Little kicker. MCF just bought Crimson energy which is right next to some ECA Eagle Ford properties.
zazaenergy.com

Encana (ECA) to Sell Remaining PrairieSky Stake for C$2.6B


Natural gas exploration and production (E&P) company Encana Corporation ( ECA) announced that it has signed a deal with a syndicate of underwriters to sell its stake in PrairieSky Royalty Ltd., the company that Encana had spun-off in May (Read: Encana's PrairieSky IPO a Success).

The underwriters, who would in turn offer the shares to investors, would buy Encana’s remaining 54% stake in PrairieSky, representing 70.2 million common shares, at C$36.50 per share. Encana is expected to receive C$2.6 billion from the transaction. The offered price is over 30% higher than the initial public offering ( IPO) price of C$28 per share.

The secondary offering is expected to close on or around Sep 26, subject to regulatory approvals. PrairieSky generates revenues through royalties collected from other oil and gas exploration companies that operate in its properties.

Encana did not give any details as to how it intends to use the proceeds from the sale of its interest. However, in accordance with the company’s present strategy to move its operations away from natural gas, the proceeds will likely be used for oil-driven growth.

Based in Calgary, Alberta, Encana is the second largest gas producer in North America and has a highly competitive land and resource position in several of the region's most promising shale and tight gas resource plays. This provides the company with a low risk, long-life and sustainable growth profile. However, at the same time, Encana’s sizeable exposure to volatile natural gas prices remains a chief concern.
finance.yahoo.com

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To: richardred who wrote (3638)9/9/2014 11:03:18 AM
From: richardred
   of 6452
 
FWIW-Todays acquisition of Annie's adds to the speculative appeal of LNCE.



General Mills to Buy Annie’s for $820 Million in Cash
By WILLIAM ALDEN September 8, 2014 5:41 pmSeptember 9, 2014 9:38 am

Photo

Annie's was founded in 1989 and went public in 2012.Credit Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Updated, 6:49 p.m. | Annie’s Homegrown, the organic food company known for its mac and cheese and earthy vibe, is joining the General Mills empire.

General Mills, whose stable of brands includes Pillsbury, Cheerios, Haagen-Dazs and Nature Valley, said on Monday that it had agreed to buy Annie’s for about $820 million in cash, in a bet on shoppers’ continued demand for natural and organic foods.

The price of $46 a share is a 51 percent premium over Annie’s 30-day average closing price as of Friday, Annie’s said. General Mills plans to finance the deal through borrowing. Analysts had speculated this summer that Annie’s could be acquired.

Shares of Annie’s shot up about 37 percent in trading after the stock market closed on Monday after closing at $33.51.

The deal shows how big food companies are willing to pay up for brands that are seen as homespun and healthful. Last year alone, Campbell Soup bought the baby food maker Plum Organics and WhiteWave, a dairy company that spun off from Dean Foods, agreed to pay $600 million for the organic produce grower Earthbound Farm.

Annie’s, whose logo is a smiling bunny, makes a line of mac and cheese products as well as pizzas, salad dressings, crackers and other snacks. The company, which was founded in 1989, went public in 2012 after being acquired by the private equity firm Solera Capital.

“Consumers know and trust Annie’s purpose-driven culture and authentic brand,” Jeff Harmening, the chief operating officer for General Mills United States retail business, said in a statement. “We believe that combining the Annie’s product portfolio and go-to-market capabilities with General Mills’ supply chain, sales and marketing resources will accelerate the growth of our organic and natural foods business.”

News of the deal sparked an immediate uproar on the Annie’s Facebook page. Fans of the company expressed dismay, noting that General Mills has opposed state-level efforts to label genetically modified foods, while Annie’s has pushed for tougher labeling requirements.

“Congrats Annie’s! You have just lost thousands of customers!” read one comment. “It’s too bad you’ve decided to merge with a big corporation who cares more about their bottom line and not the customer,” said another.

Annie’s emphasized that it would stay true to its values of healthy food and an environmentally conscious business. And it said it would continue to be based in Berkeley, Calif.

“Powerful consumer shifts toward products with simple, organic and natural ingredients from companies that share consumers’ core values show no signs of letting up,” John Foraker, the chief executive of Annie’s, said in a statement. “Partnering with a company of General Mills’ scale and resources will strengthen our position at the forefront of this trend.”

General Mills plans to initiate a tender offer within 10 business days for Annie’s shares. The deal, subject to a majority of the shares being tendered and to regulatory approval, is expected to close later this year.

JPMorgan Securities and the law firm Proskauer Rose advised Annie’s.

dealbook.nytimes.com

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