Pinnacle Foods buying Boulder Brands for about $710M in move for health and wellness foods

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Pinnacle Foods is buying Boulder Brands for about $710 million in a move that adds a line of health and wellness food brands to Pinnacle’s offerings that include Birds Eye frozen foods, Duncan Hines frosting and cake mixes.

The deal announced Tuesday comes as food producers try to meet changing consumer tastes, which trend toward healthier offerings. In a statement, the companies said that Boulder’s customer base “skews younger” than Pinnacle’s.

Boulder Brands Inc., based in Boulder, Colorado, makes Smart Balance as well as brands including Udi’s, Glutino gluten-free products. Its annual net sales topped $500 million in 2014, the companies said.

Under the deal, Parsippany, New Jersey-based Pinnacle will pay $11 per share, a 9.2 per cent premium to Boulder Brands’ closing price on Tuesday. Pinnacle will assume about $265 million in debt as part of the deal.

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016.

Pinnacle Foods Inc. CEO Bob Gamgort said his company plans to “retain” Boulder Brands’ existing headquarters location. The buyout also gives Pinnacle a new growth platform for refrigerated foods.

In midday trading Tuesday, Pinnacle Foods Inc. shares fell $1.28, or 3 per cent, to $41.92. Its shares are up almost 18 per cent so far this year.