Hormel buys Planters in $3 billion deal

The acquisition is by far the largest by Hormel Foods.

Hormel Foods logo

AUSTIN -- Austin-based Hormel Food Corp. has scooped up the Planters business from Kraft Heinz Co. for $3.35 billion in cash.

Hormel and Chicago-based Kraft announced the deal early Thursday, making it the largest acquisition by Hormel, which expands its business line to include peanuts as well as Cheez Balls, Corn Nuts and NUT-Triton brands.

The Planters business in those areas had 2020 sales of about $1 billion.

"The acquisition of the Planters business adds another $1 billion to our portfolio and significantly expands our presence in the growing snacking space," Jim Snee, Hormel's chief executive, said in a statement.

The deal had been rumored for more than a week, and includes a tax benefit for Hormel of $560 million, thus valuing Planters at $2.79 billion.


Once best known for Spam and Dinty Moore stews, Hormel has been buying up smaller food brands over the last decade. They include Skippy Peanut Butter for $700 million in 2013; Applegate Farms in 2015 for $775 million; Justin's, a maker of organic, nut-based snacks and spreads, in 2016, for $286 million; pizza-topper maker Fontanini in 2017 for $425 million; and Columbus Manufacturing Inc. that same year for $860 million.

Bloomberg noted that Planters is the nation's top-selling brand in nuts, trail mixes and seeds, but lost market share last year. The Star Tribune reported that Kraft Heinz is believed to have underinvested in many of its brands in recent years, after making an incorrect bet that consumers were committed to them.

Matthew Stolle has been a Post Bulletin reporter since 2000 and covered many of the beats that make up a newsroom. In his first several years, he covered K-12 education and higher education in Rochester before shifting to politics. He has also been a features writer. Today, Matt jumps from beat to beat, depending on what his editor and the Rochester area are producing in terms of news. Readers can reach Matthew at 507-281-7415 or
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