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Aurora, Van de Kamp's to Merge

April 03, 1998|Bloomberg News

Aurora Foods Inc. and Van de Kamp's Inc. said they will merge, creating a food company with about $900 million in annual sales and products ranging from Duncan Hines baking mix to Mrs. Paul's fish sticks. Ian R. Wilson, managing partner of Dartford Partnership, a San Francisco investment firm specializing in the food industry, would become chairman and chief executive of the new closely held company, to be called Aurora Foods Inc. Both Columbus, Ohio-based Aurora and St. Louis-based Van de Kamp's have several food products, although they specialize in breakfast foods, such as Aunt Jemima frozen products and Mrs. Butterworth's syrup. "Van de Kamp's has obvious synergies to our own product line and immediately positions us as one of the leading suppliers of breakfast food products in the U.S.," said Aurora President Thomas J. Ferraro. Aurora had sales of $200 million last year, although after it completes its purchase of Duncan Hines its sales would rise to $450 million. Van de Kamp's had sales of $450 million last year.

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