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Del Monte Foods agrees to acquisition deal with three investor groups

Del Monte Foods Co. agreed to acquisition by investor groups Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. LP, Vestar Capital Partners and Centerview Partners.

The three groups of investors agreed to purchase Del Monte for US$19 per share, or US$5.3 billion, which includes the assumption of US$1.3 billion in debt. This price represents a premium of approximately 40% over Del Monte’s average closing share price during the past three months and is higher than any price the company’s stock has ever achieved, Del Monte reported. Del Monte plans to maintain a corporate presence in both San Francisco, USA, where its headquarters are located, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.

“This transaction delivers substantial shareholder value and is a clear endorsement of Del Monte’s strategic success and executive execution,” said Richard Wolford, Del Monte chairman and chief executive.

The agreement permits Del Monte to solicit alternative proposals from third parties through January 8, 2011. If the company does not receive a better offer during this time, the transaction is set to close by the end of March 2011.

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