Kellogg Co. agreed to buy a controlling stake in Parati Group, a Brazilian food company, on Thursday for $429 million, marking the company's fourth major acquisition in emerging markets in the past two years.
With the deal, the Battle Creek-based company will acquire Ritmo Investimentos, the controlling shareholder of Latin American pasta, biscuit and powdered-beverage maker Parati. The deal is expected to be finalized later this year, the company said in a news release.
"With its outstanding portfolio of popular consumer brands, Parati Group is an excellent strategic fit for Kellogg and our business in Latin America," Kellogg Chairman and CEO John Bryant was quoted as saying Thursday. "Brazil is the largest economy in Latin America and this acquisition will allow us to accelerate our growth and improve our margins in the region.
"This means more growth for the core Parati Group business and our well-loved Kellogg brands."
The company said Parati has 3,200 employees with 1,300 of those making up the company's sales team. Among the brands under Parati's umbrella are Pádua, Minueto, Zoo Cartoon, Hot Cracker biscuits, Trink powdered beverages, Parati Lamen instant noodles and Parati dried pasta, according to information provided by the company.
Kellogg's has committed multi-million dollar investments in emerging markets in recent years.
Last year, the company announced a $450 million investment into Multipro, a sales and distribution company based in West Africa; a separate $50 million acquisition of Egypt's top cereal company, Mass Food Group; and it won a months-long bidding war for an 86 percent stake in Egyptian biscuit company Bisco Misr.