Nature’s Own maker to buy Lepage Bakeries for $370M

Posted May 31, 2012, at 9:30 a.m.

THOMASVILLE, Ga. — Flowers Foods Inc., which makes Nature’s Own bread, Tastykake treats and other baked goods, said Thursday that it has agreed to buy Lepage Bakeries Inc. for $370 million in cash and stock, expanding its presence in New England and New York.

Lepage’s lineup of regional brands include Country Kitchen and Barowsky’s, along with a broader variety of breads, buns and rolls. Lepage is based in Auburn, Maine.

The deal includes two bakeries in Lewiston, Maine, and one in Brattleboro, Vt., and a direct-store-delivery platform that will speed the expansion of the Nature’s Own and Tastykake brands in the Northeast, Flowers Foods said.

Flowers Foods, based in Thomasville, Ga., said it expects the acquisition to boost its fiscal 2012 earnings per share by between 3 cents and 5 cents, excluding acquisition costs, and fiscal year 2013 earnings by between 8 cents and 12 cents per share.

Under the terms of the deal, Flowers will pay $300 million in cash and $50 million in stock for Lepage. The agreement also calls for a total of $20 million in deferred cash payments that begin on the deal’s fourth anniversary, Flowers said.

The cash part of the deal will be funded with a combination of cash on hand and existing debt. The sale, which remains subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close during Flowers’ fiscal second quarter, the company said.

Current Lepage executives Andrew Barowsky and Albert Lepage will continue to lead their company as co-chairmen, while Barowsky also will serve as Flowers’ vice chairman of innovation, the company said.

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