Supplier giant ConAgra gets into ingredient business

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The leading food suppliers ConAgra Foods has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its JM Swank business, a national food ingredient sourcing and distribution company, to Platinum Equity, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Our goal continues to be driving greater shareholder value by making ConAgra Foods a more focused and higher performing company,” said Sean Connolly, president and CEO of ConAgra Foods. “The divestiture of JM Swank is the most recent step we have taken to allow us to drive growth by continuing to invest in our product portfolio.”
Platinum Equity CEO Tom Gores said that he expects strong collaboration with ConAgra Foods and his firm’s expertise in corporate divestitures to help ensure a seamless transition. “We are proud of the relationship we’ve developed with ConAgra Foods and look forward to working together throughout the transition and beyond,” said Gores.
“JM Swank is a leader in its industry and our team is excited to partner with management to help drive growth and create new value.” Gores added, “Complex carve outs require experience, hard work and attention to detail. We have been providing divestiture solutions to corporate sellers for more than 20 years and understand what it takes to be successful.”
Transactions Platinum Equity has completed in recent years include acquisitions from AP Moeller Maersk, Bemis Company, CBS, Deutsche Post DHL, Emerson, Itochu Corporation and Volvo. Connolly said that he expects JM Swank to continue to be an important ConAgra Foods supplier and customer following the completion of the transaction.
He added, “I’d also like to thank the JM Swank team for all of their many contributions to ConAgra Foods and wish them well in the future.” Wells Fargo Securities, LLC served as exclusive financial advisor to ConAgra Foods on the transaction. 

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