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Heinz Acquires Lea & Perrins

PITTSBURGH -- H.J. Heinz Co. here said it has completed its acquisition of the HP Foods Group from Groupe Danone S.A. for approximately $820 million in cash. The transaction, which enhances and expands Heinz's global condiment and sauces business, includes the Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce brand, as well as a perpetual license to market the rapidly growing Amoy Asian sauce brand in Europe.

Last year, the HP Foods Group had worldwide annual sales of approximately $300 million. The three larger brands included in the transaction are marketed primarily in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, where the transaction instantly elevates Heinz to one of the leading marketers of sauces in the U.K.

Of the deal, Heinz chairman, president and c.e.o., William R. Johnson, said, "The addition of Lea & Perrins sauces and Amoy Asian sauces complements Heinz's leadership in our core condiments and sauces businesses, especially in Europe and North America. This transaction is perfectly aligned with our strategy to focus on quality brands in three core businesses: ketchup, condiments and sauces; meals and snacks; and infant nutrition."

The company expects the transaction to be accretive to its fiscal year 2007 earnings, which begins on May 4, 2006.
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