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Pillsbury getting out of seafood; Bumble Bee, Van De Kamp's on block.

Pillsbury Getting Out of Seafood; Bumble Bee, Van De Kamp's on Block

Grand Metropolitan P.L.C., which took over Pillsbury Co. last December after a fierce corporate battle, has ordered the Minneapolis, Minn.-headquartered processer to get out of the seafood business.

That means Van De Kamp's and Bumble Bee are both on the block; Grand Met apparently agreed with many industry observers that it never made sense for Pillsbury to acquire them in the first place. Bumble Bee, third largest canned tuna producer, had been picked up in August.

Van De Kamp's, which Pillsbury bought less than five years ago for $102 million, has shown strong growth in the frozen fish category, sparked by new products and a TV advertising campaign showing its fish products leaping out of the freezer. Sales last year were $135 million.

Although Bumble Bee pulled in $285 million last year, its status as number three in its industry seems to make it a poor prospect for future growth. Pillsbury shelled out anywhere from $100 million to $200 million (the exact figure was kept secret) for it last year.

Grand Met has removed Haagen-Dazs from Pillsbury's U.S. Consumer Foods Division and made it a separate unit; the Industrial Foods and Foodservice Division has also been spun off as a separate unit. But the cake mixes, dough products, desserts, snacks, vegetables, pizza and seafood all remain together under the Consumer Foods Division -- renamed simply Pillsbury Foods. Five food processing operations in Central and South America are also being sold off.
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Publication:Quick Frozen Foods International
Date:Jul 1, 1989
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