Home » Pinnacle Terminates Merger Agreement With Hillshire, Will Receive $163M

Pinnacle Terminates Merger Agreement With Hillshire, Will Receive $163M

Pinnacle Foods

Pinnacle Foods Inc. on Monday announced that it has exercised its right to terminate the merger agreement between the company and The Hillshire Brands Co. announced May 12.

Pursuant to the terms of the merger agreement, Pinnacle is entitled to receive a cash payment from Hillshire Brands of $163 million as a result of this termination. Pinnacle indicated that one-time fees and expenses associated with the merger agreement, including external advisors and employee incentives, are expected to total approximately $25 million.

Given the company’s sizable net operating loss carry-forwards (NOLs), Pinnacle expects to pay minimal cash taxes on the payment from Hillshire. The company plans to use the net cash proceeds to reduce debt and, as a result, expects net interest expense for the year to fall slightly below the $100 million previously disclosed. The interest savings are expected to be reinvested in the business in 2014.

On a pro forma adjusted basis, which excludes the merger-related payment, fees and expenses and other items affecting comparability, the company reaffirmed its guidance for diluted EPS for 2014 in the range of $1.70 to $1.75.

Pinnacle Foods CEO Bob Gamgort said, “We’re excited to continue delivering long-term value for our shareholders through our strategy of ‘Reinvigorating Iconic Brands.’ We continue to manage well through the difficult industry and category environment that we have discussed previously. The termination payment provides us with increased optionality in executing our strategy.”

Prakash A. Melwani, Blackstone’s senior managing director and chief investment officer of private equity, added, “We believe strongly in the Pinnacle management team and have confidence in the company’s value creation opportunity for all shareholders. The unsolicited offer from Hillshire was one that our board could not ignore, in part because the large equity component provided potential significant upside beyond the quoted offer price. We continue to believe that Pinnacle has the brands, business model and leadership talent to outperform in the industry on a stand-alone basis.”

Read more about the original Pinnacle/Hillshire deal, and the ensuing proposals, here.

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