News | March 9, 2000

Keebler Completes Acquisition of Austin Quality Foods

Keebler Foods Company (Elmhurst, IL) has completed the acquisition of Austin Quality Foods, Inc. (Cary, NC), after receiving early termination of the customary Hart-Scott-Rodino waiting period. The transaction, which was announced in January 2000, represents a strategic growth opportunity for the company in single-serve bite-sized snacks and alternate retail channels.

The acquisition of Austin Quality Foods marks the third acquisition by Keebler in the past four years. Keebler acquired and successfully integrated the operations of Sunshine Biscuits in 1996 and President Baking Company in 1998. The Austin Quality Foods acquisition is valued at $250 million and will be financed with borrowings under Keebler's existing credit facilities. Keebler expects the acquisition will be accretive to earnings by the end of 2000.

"We are thrilled to be adding Austin's brands, product lines and manufacturing capabilities to Keebler," said Sam Reed, president and CEO of Keebler. "Austin is a very well-run company that has successfully focused on single-serve bite-sized snacks and the distribution of these products outside of supermarkets. These capabilities will complement Keebler's success in providing grain-based snack to consumers on-the-go and will provide us with enhanced growth opportunities in the key alternate retail channels."

Austin is a producer and marketer of single-serve baked snacks, including cracker sandwiches and bite-sized crackers and cookies. The company has annual sales of approximately $200 million. Austin's products include cracker sandwiches under the Austin brand, Zoo brand animal crackers, SeAnimals brand cookies and Dolphins and Friends bite-sized cheddar cheese crackers.

Edited by Scott Hegenbart