Hormel in bidding fight over mustard; Austin Company going after French’s

Published 9:04 am Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Sunday Times of London reported earlier this week that Hormel Foods is in a bidding battle with Unilever on the acquisition of Reckitt Benckiser’s food business.

“The Anglo-Dutch conglomerate behind Persil and Ben & Jerry’s is among a pack of food giants to have tabled a bid for the Reckitt operation — home to brands including French’s mustard,” the Times reported.

Officials at Hormel declined to comment on the information, which has circulated in recent days, when contacted Tuesday, noting the company does not comment on potential acquisitions.

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The Times said although several companies are expected to submit bids, “Unilever and Hormel are likely to have the most firepower in any bidding war,” it said.

The Times also reported the sales in the Reckitt’s food division increased 5 percent last year and that “French’s is the jewel in the crown.” The division also includes Frank’s Red Hot sauces.