Little orphan brandie

March 17, 2009

FOOD-SUMMIT/B&GB&G Foods Inc wants the small, orphan brands that no one else loves. 

“We have a laundry list and any number companies that we talk to on a regular basis,” said B&G Chief Executive David Wenner. “We’re buying all these things people don’t want to run.”

B&G pointed to the success of its acquisition of Cream of Wheat, saying “no one was paying any attention to it. So that’s where we come in.”

“We’re looking for things are aren’t commodities. Higher margin products, ethnic foods are great. Las Palmas and Ortega — they’ve grown steadily over the years and we love that,” Wenner said.

B&G aims to stick to its tried-and-true practice of buying dry grocery products that immediately add to earnings or revenues.

B&G wants to carve out orphan products from larger food companies. When it approaches potential sellers, B&G says “We’re able to come in and take these five things  you don’t want.  We’re able to come in and take these things over very very quickly,” Wenner said. 

The company targets smaller brands or private companies. “We’re not buying Kraft tomorrow.” 

Still, some acquisitions may have to wait. Sellers are still looking for premiums that reflect higher stock prices from a year ago, rather than the current depressed prices, Wenner said.

“The brands that may be available are on hold — I see some more consolidation in the food industry at some point,” Wenner said. “But we still have sellers that are looking for double-digit EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization), and that’s not where the world is today.”

(Reuters photo)

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