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Smucker Sells Foodservice Unit to Value Creation

Smucker Sells Foodservice Unit to Value Creation
ORVILLE, Ohio - The J.M. Smucker Co. here has agreed to sell its American foodservice and bakery-products division to Value Creation Partners, Inc., of Columbus, Ohio, for $43 million, according to published reports.

The maker of jams and Jif peanut butter had acquired the business as part of its $840 million deal for Minnetonka, MN-based International Multifoods Corp. in June of last year. Smucker said a month later it intended to sell the unit because it didn't fit its strategy of focusing on leading consumer brands, such as Multifoods' Pillsbury baking mixes and Hungry Jack product lines.

The foodservice division had sales of $202.5 million in its most recent fiscal year, ended Feb. 28, 2004, according to Smucker. The business employs about 700 at two offices in the United States, five plants in the United States and three plants in Canada.

The companies expect the deal to close by the middle of February, pending regulatory approval.
Value Creation Partners was founded by Douglas A. Smith, its chief executive, Harry S. Sunenshine and G. Scott Humphrey. Smith is former president and ceo of the now-defunct Borden Foods Corp. and Humphrey was Columbus-based Borden Foods' vice president of technology. Value Creation Partners also owns Best Brands Corp., a commercial supplier of baking products and ingredients based in Eagan, MN.

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