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Owner of former Heinz plant acquires snack maker

| Monday, June 30, 2014, 1:18 p.m.

TreeHouse Foods Inc., the owner of the former H.J. Heinz Co. manufacturing plant in the North Side, is acquiring a private-label maker of healthy snacks in an $860 million all-cash deal.

Oakbrook, Ill.-based TreeHouse said the deal to buy Flagstone Foods of St. Paul will increase revenue by $750 million a year and boost earnings by 24 cents to 28 cents a share in the first full year of operation.

The deal is expected to give TreeHouse a foothold in the rapidly growing $7.1 billion healthy snacks category, the company said.

Flagstone, which is owned by private equity firm Gryphon Investors, is one of the largest manufacturers and distributors of trail mix and dried fruit in North America.

It has about 1,365 employees and runs factories in Minneapolis and Roberson, N.C. Its sales last year were $697 million.

TreeHouse is a private-label food maker primarily serving the retail grocery and food service industries.

Its revenue will be about $3.5 billion a year after the closing of the deal, which is expected in the July-September quarter this year.

Alex Nixon is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7928 or anixon@tribweb.com.

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