KKR plans to buy Del Monte

Nov. 26, 2010 at 5:48 PM

NEW YORK, Nov. 26 (UPI) -- Del Monte Foods announced Friday it has agreed to go private, being bought by an investor group for $19 a share and assumption of $1.3 billion in debt.

The group is headed by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and includes Vestar Capital Partners and Centerview Partners, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Del Monte, a manufacturer of pet food and canned fruits and vegetables with headquarters in San Francisco, said it can consider rival offers through Jan. 8. If no other buyers come forward, the $5.3 billion deal is expected to close by the end of March.

Shares in the company rose 4 percent Friday to $18.75, CNN said.

"This transaction will enable our company to continue to successfully grow, building on the foundation our team has put into place," Del Monte Chief Executive Officer Richard Wolford said in a statement.

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