Del Monte Foods Co. will name Neil Harrison of Vestar Capital as interim chief executive upon the expected closing of the company's US$4 billion acquisition by a group of private equity firms, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The petfood maker's acquisition by Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts Co., Vestar Capital Partners and Centerview Partners will likely close in March, a deal worth US$19 per share including US$1.3 billion in assumed debt, according to The Wall Street Journal's report. Harrison will also get a seat on the company's board, according to a letter disclosed in a regulatory filing from Del Monte Chairman and Chief Executive Richard Wolford. Del Monte will continue to search for a permanent replacement for Wolford.