ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Del Monte gears up to digest Heinz

Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO -- While other businesses slow down for the holidays, Del Monte Foods Co. is gearing up to try to capitalize on its biggest acquisition in more than a decade of dealmaking.

Monday marked Del Monte's first day running a greatly expanded product line that has doubled the company's size. The additions include Starkist tuna and top-selling brands of pet food.

The new products, picked up in a $2.3 billion spin-off from Pittsburgh-based H.J. Heinz Co., herald the latest incarnation of San Francisco-based Del Monte and its 110-year-old brand.

The company has undergone several makeovers since investors extracted the nation's largest canned vegetable and fruit business from RJR Nabisco in a $1.5 billion leveraged buyout in 1990.

ADVERTISEMENT

None of the previous deals has been as big as its takeover of Heinz' tuna, pet food, baby food and private-label soup brands.

With the newly acquired Heinz brands, Del Monte expects its annual sales to rise above $3 billion, up from $1.3 billion in the company's last fiscal year ending in June.

Del Monte's work force is swelling from 2,800 to 8,500 year-round employees to handle the heavier sales volume.

What To Read Next
Fundraising is underway to move the giant ball of twine from the Highland, Wisconsin, home of creator James Frank Kotera, who died last month at age 75, 44 years after starting the big ball.