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Birds Eye to sell non-branded assets

Birds Eye Foods Inc. has found a buyer for its non-branded food businesses.
Allen Canning Co. of Siloam Springs, Ark., will acquire substantially all of the assets of the non-branded frozen vegetable business, including plants in Brockport, Bergen and Oakfield, where 366 people are employed, the two companies said Monday in a statement.
“We are delighted to announce this agreement, and we know that the store brand business will be in good hands with Allen Canning,” said Neil Harrison, chairman, president and CEO of Penfield-based Birds Eye.
Completion of the transaction is expected in December, subject to regulatory approvals and other closing requirements, Birds Eye spokeswoman Bea Slizewski said. The company would not comment on terms of the deal.
The non-branded business processes fresh vegetables, including peas, corn, beans and carrots, and repacks vegetables for major customers, including Wal-Mart Inc. and Royal Ahold N.V.
Rick Allen, president and CEO of Allen Canning, said the company was excited to be expanding into frozen vegetables.
“This is a natural extension of our canned vegetable business, and will allow us to better serve our existing customers and, at the same time, to build new relationships with the many customers that Birds Eye has served over the years,” he said. “We especially look forward to becoming a part of five communities that are new to us.”
The plant sales include facilities in Fairwater, Wisc., and Montezuma, Ga.
Birds Eye said in July it would shed its non-branded businesses to focus on more profitable branded lines.

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