Heinz's agreement to buy bankrupt US firm Vlasic Foods International (The Grocer, January 20, p14) has been terminated. Vlasic said it had received a superior offer for its pickles, barbecue sauces and frozen foods businesses than the one it had agreed with Heinz. Vlasic is now proposing to sell those businesses to Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst for $370m, and has been given the right to purchase 15% of the common stock of HMTF. Heinz had agreed a price of between $174m and $179m. The three businesses being sold to Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst have combined sales of approximately $750m and include four manufacturing facilities. "The businesses should now be in a position to truly flourish," said David Pauker, managing director of Goldin Associates, a turnaround manager retained by Vlasic Foods to oversee the implementation of a financial restructuring. He said: "HMTF has the resources to make additional food acquisitions to complement and leverage the strengths of our brands." The HMTF agreement is subject to approval of the US Bankruptcy Court at a hearing scheduled for May 9. {{NEWS }}