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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.

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 To contact the editors responsible for this story: Kevin Orland at John Lear

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