General Mills sells Pop Secret for $190 million

General Mills sells Pop Secret for $190 million

General Mills sells Pop Secret for $190 million

General Mills Inc. is selling its Pop Secret microwave popcorn business to Diamond Foods Inc. for about $190 million cash.

Golden Valley-based General Mills (NYSE: GIS) disclosed the sale today in a press release.

The sale was part of a prioritization of opportunities for General Mills, said company spokeswoman Heidi Geller. In particular, the company is focused on selling its Nature Valley granola products and other grain snacks. The popcorn product was produced at third-party manufacturers, so there will be no direct impact on General Mills’ employees or plants, she said.

General Mills expects a one-time gain on the sale of $160 million, which excludes transaction-related costs.

Stockton, Calif.-based Diamond Foods (NYSE: DMND) is a food company that makes and sells nuts and snacks under the Diamond and Emerald brands.

“We are very excited about the addition of Pop Secret to our snack portfolio,” said Michael Mendes, CEO and president of Diamond, in a release. “It will significantly broaden our presence in the snack aisle and increase promotional efficiency, while leveraging our existing supply chain and corporate infrastructure.” Diamond expects the brand to generate $85 million to $90 million in annual sales and to be profitable. The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close sometime this fall.

Pop Secret, which General Mills introduced to the market in 1985 as Betty Crocker Pop-Secret, is the second-biggest brand in the $900 million U.S. microwave popcorn category. Orville Redenbacher, made by Omaha, Neb.-based ConAgra Foods Inc., is the market leader.

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