Berkeley, CA—Leading natural and organic food company Annie’s Inc., which markets packaged food products like macaroni and cheese under the brand name Annie’s Homegrown, announced it will be bought out by General Mills, Inc. for $46 per share in cash. The total value of the acquisition is around $820 million. Annie’s, known for its smiling bunny logo, became a publically traded company in 2012.
Annie’s CEO John Foraker said in a statement, “Powerful consumer shifts toward products with simple, organic and natural ingredients from companies that share consumers’ core values show no signs of letting up. Partnering with a company of General Mills’ scale and resources will strengthen our position at the forefront of this trend.” Fan backlash on social media was immediate. Referring to General Mills’ opposition to GMO labeling legislation, one poster wrote, “The people that really care about products like Annie’s are also passionate about GMO labeling. General Mills coughed up over a million dollars during Prop 37 here in California.”
A majority of Annie’s current shareholders must accept the tender offer for the deal to close. The acquisition is expected to be complete by the end of 2014. The company’s headquarters will remain in Berkeley.
Published by WholeFoods Magazine Online (9/9/14)