Juice giant Del Monte has agreed a sale to a private equity consortium led by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.

KKR is heading a group of buyers that also features Vestar Capital Partners and Centerview Partners.

The deal, valued at $5.3bn (£3.3bn), marks one of the year’s largest private equity buyouts and represents a 40% premium over the company's average share price for the past three months.

Del Monte’s board has unanimously approved the sale by the juice group has until 8 January to attract higher bids.

The terms of the deal include KKR’s consortium taking on approximately $1.3bn in debt.

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

“The hard work and dedication of our talented team has helped to transform Del Monte from a $1bn consumer foods business into a branded pet and consumer products company with more than $3.7bn in revenues.”

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