NEW YORK — Quaker Oats Co. said Wednesday that it plans to sell most of the assets of Anderson, Clayton & Co., the food and consumer products concern that Quaker recently acquired for $812 million.
Quaker, a Chicago-based food and toy company, told stockholders at its annual meeting here that Gaines Foods Inc., a pet food maker, is the only Anderson, Clayton unit it plans to retain.
After the meeting, Quaker executives declined to estimate to reporters how much money the other assets would fetch. But the executives said the sale proceeds will help reduce the debt that Quaker incurred to make the Anderson, Clayton purchase.
Besides Gaines, Houston-based Anderson, Clayton makes such consumer food products as Seven Seas salad dressings and Chiffon margarine, and it is involved in oil-seed processing and animal feeds.
The company's non-food interests include Igloo ice chests, insurance services, materials handling equipment and warehousing.
Quaker's decision to sell the non-Gaines assets of Anderson, Clayton was not totally surprising because Gaines has always been the focus of Quaker's interest in Anderson, Clayton.
Quaker is a leading pet food producer, and its acquisition of Gaines nearly doubles its share of the U.S. pet food market to about 15%, second only to Ralston Purina's 27% share.
This summer, Quaker initially tried to acquire only Gaines by joining two investment firms, Bear, Stearns & Co. and Gruss & Co., in their hostile bid for Anderson, Clayton.
Quaker was to buy Gaines for $250 million from the firms if they succeeded in their offer. But the firms later dropped their bid after Ralston Purina surfaced with a friendly offer to buy Anderson, Clayton.
Facing the prospect that Ralston could increase its already dominant lead in pet foods, Quaker in late September made its own successful bid for all of Anderson, Clayton in order to acquire Gaines.
Quaker said costs associated with the acquisition would result in a one-time charge against earnings, but it did not estimate the size of the charge. The company also did not specify in which quarter the charge would be taken but said it likely would occur in its current fiscal year ending June 30, 1987.
Quaker's brand-name products include Quaker Oats and Cap'n Crunch cereals, Aunt Jemima pancakes and syrups, Gatorade drinks and Ken-L Ration pet foods. The company also owns Fisher-Price toys.