Post to Buy Michael Foods for $2.45B

Post Holdings (NYSE:POST) said Thursday it agreed to buy eggs and dairy producer Michael Foods for $2.45 billion, as the cereal maker looks to expand its breakfast portfolio.

Michael Foods, which is being sold by private equity owners that include Thomas H. Lee and Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) Capital Partners, will operate as an independent subsidiary with its current management team in place.

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The deal is expected to close during the second quarter.

Since getting spun off in 2012 from private-label food maker Ralcorp, Post has invested in new products to broaden its customer base. The St. Louis-based company, the maker of Honey Bunches of Oats cereal, recently added peanut butter, pasta and protein bars to its lineup.

Michael Foods is Post’s largest acquisition to date. Post has a market value of $2.1 billion and reported sales of $1 billion in its latest fiscal year.

“This acquisition is exactly what we look for in an investment,” Post chairman and CEO Bill Stiritz said in a statement.

Minnetonka, Minn.-based Michael Foods produces and distributes a number of dairy products, including Crystal Farms cheeses. The company also owns Abbotsford Farms eggs and Simply Potatoes. It booked sales of $1.95 billion last year.

Post shares slid 19 cents, or 0.4%, to $54.54 in recent trading. The stock jumped more than 5% on Wednesday amid talk that a deal was in place.