Companies looking to acquire Diamond Foods will want to wait until full examination of company's books is completed, industry officials say

LOS ANGELES , February 20, 2012 () – Industry officials say that companies looking to acquire Diamond Foods Inc. will want to wait until a full examination of the company’s books is completed, Reuters reported Feb. 20.

The company is currently dealing with a federal probe into its accounting for payments to walnut growers. In addition, Diamond faces a number of shareholder lawsuits as its stock has lost 75% of its value since September.

Kirk Ludtke, managing director of CRT Capital Group LLC, anticipates that it will take a while for Diamond to restate its financial numbers and it’s unlikely that any buyer will step forward until that’s been completed.

That said, according to a consumer investment banker who declined to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media, Diamond’s non-walnut businesses are strong and would be attractive takeout targets.

Bevmark Consulting CEO Tom Pirko said Kellogg could move to further solidify its place in snack foods by buying Diamond’s Kettle and/or Pop Secret brands, or that Kraft Foods could look to acquire the brands to add to what will soon become a global snack food company once it separates its North American grocery brands.

The primary source of this article is Reuters, London, England, on Feb. 20, 2012.

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