Del Monte in $5.3bn sale to private equity fund KKR

Crates of Del Monte pineapples
Image caption The sale is going ahead despite Del Monte lowering its financial forecasts in September

Del Monte is set to be bought up by private equity fund Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) for $5.3bn (£3.4bn).

The New York-listed food manufacturer is well known in the UK for "the man from Del Monte" adverts, and in the US for its pet food brands.

The long-rumoured sale values the firm at $19 per share - a 5.6% premium to its $17.99 closing price on Wednesday.

However, the sale terms allow Del Monte's management to solicit higher bidders up until 8 January.

The deal - rumoured for the last three months - is set to go ahead despite Del Monte's decision in September to lower its financial forecasts for the second quarter in a row.

"This transaction delivers substantial shareholder value and is a clear endorsement of Del Monte's strategic success and effective execution," said Del Monte's chief executive, Richard G Wolford, in a press statement.

KKR is partnering with two other investment companies for the transaction, who will collectively take on the company's $1.3bn in debts.

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