ConAgra Foods US$5.1B takeover bid for Ralcorp -- the third since March -- is a nearly 19% premium over Ralcorp's most recent closing price
August 12, 2011
– ConAgra Foods Inc. made yet another try for Ralcorp Holdings Inc. with a $5.17 billion bid that was rejected on Friday.
Ralcorp said that it received the $94 dollar per-share offer from ConAgra on Thursday and decided that it is not in the best interest for the food company or its shareholders.
ConAgra offered $86 per share for Ralcorp in May and $82 per share in March, both of which were quickly refused.
Ralcorp, based in St. Louis, is in the process of spinning off its Post cereal business to focus on its core private-label foods and says this move will provide better value for its shareholders.
ConAgra, based in Omaha, Neb., was not available to comment.
The latest offer, which was disclosed after the market closed Friday, is a nearly 19 percent premium over Ralcorp's most recent closing price.
Analysts have suggested that ConAgra's prior offers were well below the company's value, with some analysts suggesting the company would need to go as high as $98 per share for a serious offer.
Ralcorp Chairman William Stiritz said in a letter to ConAgra executives that the company has a very strong track record of creating superior long-term shareholder value and it stands by its plans to spin off Post, which makes cereals such as Honey Bunches of Oats and Grape Nuts.
"We are firmly committed to this plan and therefore, we have unanimously determined that we have nothing further to discuss," Stiritz wrote.
ConAgra's brands include Chef Boyardee and Slim Jim. Closing a deal with Ralcorp would make the company the third-largest packaged food maker in the U.S.
Shares of Ralcorp rose $6.98, or nearly 9 percent, to $86 in after-hours trading on the news. Shares of ConAgra were unchanged after closing down 18 cents at $23.19 Friday.
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