Big Deal Takes Chips Off the Block

It looks like Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG  ) won't lose out due to another's misfortune.

After Diamond Foods (Nasdaq: DMND  ) announced the ouster of its CEO and CFO and a restatement of two years' worth of earnings, P&G had to look for a new buyer for its tasty Pringles brand. After agreeing to sell the brand to Diamond last April for $2.3 billion, a new buyer has emerged with a little more money.

Food maker Kellogg (NYSE: K  ) agreed Wednesday to purchase the last remnant P&G's food business in an all-cash deal for $2.7 billion, giving P&G a slight premium over the previously agreed-upon price. Kellogg will be able to add about $1.5 billion in annual sales to its snack business, which is currently led by Cheez-It crackers and Keebler cookies.

Kellogg ultimately expects Pringles to add $0.08 to $0.10 to its earnings per share next year, not counting the one-time costs of the acquisition. Though the deal will be for cash, Kellogg will add $2 billion in debt to its existing $5 billion in long-term debt. This should have minimal impact on the company going forward, which currently has around $3.2 billion in current assets, including $580 million in cash.

Who missed out
I failed to consider Kellogg as a player for Pringles recently, viewing Kraft (NYSE: KFT  ) or PepsiCo's (NYSE: PEP  ) Frito-Lay as more likely candidates. Without an entry in the chip segment, Kellogg has been losing market share and shelf space to its bigger competitors. Nevertheless, Kellogg becomes a serious player in the snack business, securing third place behind Frito-Lay and Kraft.

What it all means
Procter & Gamble was anxious to get out of the food business, and the sale to Kellogg indicates this. I thought they would hold onto Pringles in an attempt to maximize the value, but agreeing to sell the company merely a week after the announced breakdown at Diamond Foods was quite impressive. To keep an eye on the developments of the deal for Pringles, add Kellogg to My Watchlist.

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Fool contributor Robert Eberhard holds no position in any company mentioned. Follow him on Twitteror click here to see his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of PepsiCo. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of PepsiCo and Procter & Gamble and creating a diagonal call position in PepsiCo. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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