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updated: 4/21/2014 9:54 AM

Hillshire agrees to buy Van's Natural Foods for $165 million

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Bloomberg News

Chicago-based Hillshire Brands Co., the maker of Jimmy Dean sausages and Ball Park hot dogs, agreed to buy Van's Natural Foods from private-equity firm Catterton Partners for about $165 million to add healthy breakfast foods.

Van's is expected to have net sales of $60 million this year, Chicago-based Hillshire and Greenwich, Connecticut-based Catterton said today in a statement. The deal is expected to be completed next month.

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Hillshire Chief Executive Officer Sean Connolly said last year that the company was focused on offering more healthy options for customers. Van's, based in Phoenix, makes a range of wellness-oriented products, including frozen gluten-free pancakes and whole-grain waffles.

Hillshire rose 0.1 percent to $36.15 at 9:44 a.m. in New York. The shares have gained 8 percent this year through April 17, compared with a 0.9 percent increase for the Standard & Poor's 500 Index.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kevin Orland in Chicago at korlandbloomberg.net To contact the editors responsible for this story: Kevin Orland at korlandbloomberg.net John Lear

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