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Check Out Line: Ralcorp, Corn Products, Heinz go shopping

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heinz1Check out the deals by Ralcorp Holdings, Corn Products International and Heinz.

Ralcorp, which sells a variety of products, including Post-branded cereals, corn snack products, syrups and salad dressings, said it would buy private-label dry pasta maker American Italian Pasta Co for $1.2 billion. That deal is expected to close by the end of September.

“This transaction strengthens our position as a diversified provider of private label and branded food products,” Ralcorp co-Chief Executive and President Kevin Hunt said in a statement.

It also said it bought privately held North American Baking Ltd and JT Bakeries Inc for an undisclosed amount to expand its portfolio of gourmet crackers. Ralcorp expects the deals to add to earnings during the rest of the current fiscal year.

However, Ralcorp added that it expects to earn about $1.00 a share in the third quarter, below the $1.29 analysts were expecting. It cited heavier competition in the cereal category. The company does not plan to provide earnings outlook in the future except under “unique circumstances.”

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