Smucker sells Pillsbury and other baking brands for $375m

The J.M. Smucker Company is selling its US baking business to private equity firm Brynwood Partners for $375m in a bid to focus on other parts of the business.

This means the company will be parting ways with brands including Pillsbury, Martha White, Hungry Jack, White Lily and Jim Dandy. According to Smucker, its baking business generated net sales of approximately $370m for the company's fiscal year that ended April 30.

The move is part of Smucker's plan to focus on aspects of the business that show stronger growth potential, including pet food, coffee and snacking. The company owns a number of pet food brands, including Rachael Ray Nutrish, Meow Mix, Milk-Bone and Kibbles 'n Bits. It also owns Folgers Coffee, peanut butter brand Jif and its eponymous line of fruit spreads.

“Pillsbury, Martha White, and Hungry Jack remain iconic brands and, although they no longer align with our strategic priorities, we are confident they will be nurtured at Brynwood,” said Mark Smucker, president and chief executive officer, in a statement. “While the decision to divest these brands was difficult, it underscores our commitment to allocating resources toward those areas of the business critical to our growth.”

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of the company's 2019 fiscal year. The divesture will not affect the arm of Pillsbury owned by General Mills, which includes the baking brand's frozen and refrigerated products.

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