Richardson International has secured a deal with Conagra Brands to purchase its Wesson range of canola and vegetable cooking oils.
The deal also includes the Wesson production facility in Memphis, Tennessee. This 280,000-square-foot manufacturing plant will complement Richardson’s food and ingredients division.
Wesson’s offering includes vegetable oil, canola oil, corn oil and blended oils. The brand is highly complementary to Richardson’s Canola Harvest range, which makes canola oil as well as sprays and margarine.
Canada-based Richardson said Wesson has been a preferred choice in American homes for cooking and baking applications for more than a century, adding that marketing campaigns have “firmly established the brand as a common household name for the health-conscious and discerning consumer”.
Last year, JM Smucker was set to buy the Wesson brand in a deal worth approximately $285 million. However, Conagra and Smucker terminated their agreement following competition concerns from US authorities.
The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) challenged the deal as it was “likely to substantially lessen competition” in the US for canola and vegetable oils.
Speaking of the acquisition, Curt Vossen, Richardson president and CEO, said: “The rich history of both our company and the Wesson brand makes this an exciting acquisition for us. We believe that consumers will continue to seek out high-quality foods and aligning with the Wesson brand expands our ability to meet that consumer desire.”
He added: “Our recent $30 million investment to build an innovation centre focused on product development will provide a modern platform for testing solutions and exploring new ideas, creating the perfect match to develop truly innovative products to meet and exceed consumer expectations.”
Richardson International said it is committed to a continued US presence for marketing, manufacturing and distribution of Wesson products. It also plans to invest in the Memphis facility. It is expected the transaction will be completed in the first quarter of 2019.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020