Hormel Buys Organic Meat Distributor Applegate Farms for $775 Million
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [The New York Times] by Stephanie Strom - May 27, 2015
Hormel Foods, the company behind brands like Spam and Skippy, announced on Tuesday that it was acquiring Applegate Farms, a maker of natural and organic meats, for about $775 million.
The deal was Hormel’s largest acquisition ever and signaled even more clearly the efforts of Jeffrey M. Ettinger, its chief executive, to diversify the company. It bought Skippy in 2013, and last year it added CytoSport, the maker of the Muscle Milk line of sports drinks, bars and powders, to its portfolio.
With the purchase of Applegate, Hormel is adding meat products, but Mr. Ettinger said there was almost no overlap between the two companies’ businesses. Half of Applegate’s sales are through organic and “natural” foods stores like Gourmet Garage in New York and PCC Natural Markets in the Pacific Northwest, where Hormel has very little presence. Hormel’s only organic products are a version of Wholly Guacamole and versions of some Muscle Milk products.Full Story »