UPDATRE1: S. Korea’s CJ CheilJedang buys U.S. frozen food firm Schwan's for $1.84 billion
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SEOUL, NNA - South Korean food giant CJ CheilJedang Corp. said Thursday it bought U.S. frozen food firm Schwan’s Co., maker of Tony’s pizza and Mrs. Smith’s pies, for $1.84 billion as part of its strategy to become a global food name.
In its biggest-ever acquisition expected to close early next year, CJ Group will hold 80% of the shares in the privately-owned company. The Schwan family will retain 20 percent ownership and full ownership of the home-delivery service.
The transaction will include the U.S. company’s manufacturing and logistics operations and various professional and administrative services.
As part of its growth strategy, CJ also bought U.S.-based Kahiki Foods and Germany’s Mainfrost earlier this year.
CJ CheilJedang posted annual sales of 16.5 trillion won ($14.6 billion) in 2017.
Schwan’s sells mainly frozen foods, including pizza and desserts. Its brands include Red Baron, Tony’s, and Freschetta pizza, and Mrs. Smith’s and Edwards desserts.
The Minnesota-based company ranks second in the U.S. frozen pizza retail market, with some $3 billion in annual sales and 12,000 employees. It began in 1952 as a one-man-and-a-truck home-delivery business.