AICHI PREFECTURE, Japan and TOKYO — Mizkan Group, a condiment manufacturer, on Thursday announced that it has entered into an agreement with Conopco, a Unilever subsidiary, to acquire the Ragu and Bertolli pasta sauce brand. Mizkan will pay $2.15 billion. The North American pasta sauce market is a robust and attractive category valued at over $2 billion, the company noted.
"We are very pleased to welcome Ragu and Bertolli, two of America's most well-known brands, to the Mizkan family," said Kazuhide Nakano, chairman and CEO Mizkan Holdings Co. "This transaction represents an important milestone in our global expansion strategy. We are confident that this transaction allows us to further achieve our objectives of diversification and expansion of our international footprint. Mizkan is strongly committed to the long-term growth of Ragu and Bertolli, and we will work to help ensure that both brands continue to grow and prosper. We believe this acquisition will create more opportunities for our company and our workforce, including Ragu and Bertolli's talented employees, and create significant value for our global stakeholders."
The transaction will include two production facilities — a sauce processing and packaging facility located in Owensboro, Ky., and a tomato processing facility located in Stockton, Calif.
Mizkan said it expects to finance the deal with proceeds of a new financing facility.