Daily News: March 20, 2017

BofA Provides $1.25B Revolver For Conagra Brands

Conagra Brands acquired protein-based snacking businesses Thanasi Foods, maker of Duke’s meat snacks, and BIGS, maker of BIGS seeds. Financial terms were not disclosed. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of regulatory approval and is expected to close summer 2017.

According to a related 8-K filing, on February 16, Conagra entered into a revolving credit agreement for $1.25 billion with Bank of America as administrative agent and a lender and JPMorgan Chase as syndication agent and a lender.

The credit agreement provides for a revolving credit facility in a maximum aggregate principal amount outstanding at any one time of $1.25 billion (subject to increase to a maximum aggregate principal amount of $1.75 billion).

This facility replaces the company’s revolving credit facility under that certain prior revolving credit agreement dated September 14, 2011, among the company, JPMorgan Chase Bank as administrative agent and a lender, Bank of America as syndication agent and a lender, and the other financial institutions party thereto. The maturity date of the prior credit agreement was September 14, 2018. No borrowings were outstanding under the prior credit agreement upon its termination

“This is another exciting step in our ongoing efforts to reshape our portfolio to be more premium and modern,” said Sean Connolly, president and chief executive officer of Conagra Brands. “These on-trend brands extend our meat snacks and seeds businesses into faster-growing, more premium segments. We are looking forward to working with the Thanasi team to grow the brands further and create value for our shareholders.”

Conagra Brands currently manages the Slim Jim® meat stick brand and the DAVID® Seeds brand.

Justin “Duke” Havlick, Duke’s and BIGS founder and chief executive officer, said, “What started 13 years ago as a simple passion for fire roasting seeds and slow smoking meats, has grown into two terrific brands that are recognized in households across the U.S. This is an incredibly exciting time for our brands and our team, and we are looking forward to working with the Conagra Brands team on the next chapter in our journey to take Duke’s and BIGS to another level.”

Following the completion of the transaction, the Duke’s and BIGS brands will continue operating out of Boulder, CO.

Houlihan Lokey served as financial advisor, and Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck served as legal counsel to Thanasi Foods and BIGS. Jones Day served as legal counsel to Conagra Brands.

Chicago-based Conagra’s iconic brands include such Marie Callender’s, Reddi-wip, Hunt, Healthy Choice, Slim Jim and Orville Redenbacher’s.