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 MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Pillsbury today announced that it will acquire 49 percent equity capital in Pacific Star de Occidente, a major distributor of frozen and refrigerated products in Mexico, forming a distribution joint venture to be called "Pacific Star."
 Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
 The partnership will expand Pacific Star's existing storage and distribution facilities in Guadalajara, Mexico City, Monterrey, and Tijuana, and add new facilities in other urban areas, creating the largest and most modern frozen and refrigerated infrastructure in Mexico. During first year of operation Pacific Star will nearly double its reach, to more than 1,400 supermarkets in Mexico.
 "We are committed to extending our flagship brands into key international markets," said Paul S. Walsh, CEO of Pillsbury. "With this joint venture, Pillsbury will gain a strong and efficient distribution and sales system for our Pillsbury, Green Giant, and pizza brands in Mexico. We are confident that our brands can achieve a leading position in the Mexican market through this joint venture."
 Mexico's 85 million consumers represent a high growth market for Pillsbury products, according to Walsh. "With the increased demand among Mexican consumers for products offering value, convenience and superior quality, Pillsbury's sales in Mexico will grow dramatically over the next five years," he said.
 Pacific Star de Occidente, founded in 1988 as a distributor of frozen convenience food products, is privately held. Over the past five years, it has grown into an integrated service company involved in the import, marketing, distribution, and sale of frozen and refrigerated foods. Last year, the company was named as Pillsbury's frozen and refrigerated foods distributor in Mexico.
 Pacific Star will continue to operate as an independent sales and distribution company representing other companies in addition to Pillsbury.
 The majority of Pillsbury products to be sold in Mexico are manufactured in the United States at company-owned plants in Minnesota, Ohio, Texas and elsewhere.
 Pillsbury is a subsidiary of the Food Sector of Grand Metropolitan PLC. GrandMet is one of the largest international companies in the United Kingdom and a world leader in drinks, retailing and food. GrandMet sales are in excess of $14 billion. Other U.S. subsidiaries of GrandMet include Burger King, Carillon Importers, Haagen-Dazs, Heublein, the Paddington Corporation, and Pearle Inc.
 Started in 1869 as a Minneapolis-based flour miller, Pillsbury has evolved into a highly regarded food company with annual sales of more than $3 billion and about 16,000 employees worldwide. Pillsbury has a strong portfolio of consumer food brands, and additional interests in petfoods and products for food services and bakeries. Although sales are predominately concentrated in North America, Pillsbury products are sold throughout the world.
 Products: Flour; baking mixes; prepared dough products; fresh, frozen and canned vegetables; side dishes; frozen pizza and snacks; pet foods.
 Trademarks: The Pillsbury Doughboy(R) and the Jolly Green Giant(R) are two of America's most familiar and best-loved symbols of quality, good taste and value.
 Details of major consumer brands:
 Pillsbury: Prepared dough products, baked goods, baking mixes and specialty potatoes. Pillsbury is the U.S. and Canadian market leader in refrigerated prepared dough products.
 Hungry Jack: Instant mashed potatoes, biscuits, pancake mix, microwave pancakes and syrup. Hungry Jack leads the U.S. microwave pancake market.
 Green Giant: Pillsbury is the world's largest producer of branded vegetables, and leads the U.S. and Canadian markets with more than 100 Green Giant-branded fresh, frozen and canned vegetable products.
 Aunt Nellie's: Canned and glass-jar packed vegetables, deli-style salads, sandwich and spaghetti sauces, glace fruit, fruit drinks and juices. Aunt Nellie's is the U.S. market leader in glass-jar packed vegetables.
 Totino's: The number one brand of frozen pizza in the United States.
 Jeno's: The number two brand in frozen pizza/pizza snacks in the United States.
 ALPO: One of the strongest brand franchises in the U.S. petfood market, with a full range of dog food, puppy food, cat food and dog treats.
 Pillsbury's Grand Metropolitan Foodservice Inc. provides quality food products to the in-store/retail baker, foodservice and wholesale bakery markets. GrandMet Foodservice holds U.S. market leading positions with its Pillsbury-branded bakery mixes and flour, and with its Pillsbury/McGlynn's-branded frozen pre-baked and unbaked dough products. Pillsbury dehydrated potatoes hold a strong second position in the U.S. foodservice market.
 -0- 09/01/93
 /NOTE: Pillsbury is a U.S. subsidiary of Grand Metropolitan PLC/
 /CONTACT: Terry J. Thompson of Pillsbury, 612-330-4768; or Jose Martinez of Pillsbury Latin America, 52-5-580-4145/4193; or Ernesto Gonzalez of Pacific Star, 52-3-656-7636/

CO: Pillsbury; Pillsbury Latin America; Pacific Star ST: Minnesota IN: FOD SU: TNM

DB-KH -- MN001 -- 7841 09/01/93 10:00 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 1, 1993

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