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Ralcorp Holdings to split into two companies

BY Gail Hoffer

ST. LOUIS — Ralcorp Holdings announced that its board of directors has unanimously agreed in principle to separate Ralcorp and Post Foods in a tax-free spinoff to Ralcorp shareholders.

The company said it expects to complete the separation in approximately four to six months, following the receipt of an Internal Revenue Service tax ruling and/or satisfactory legal opinion as to the tax-free nature of the transaction, final approval by the Ralcorp board of directors and other customary conditions. The transaction does not require approval from Ralcorp shareholders. 

Upon completion of the transaction, Ralcorp shareholders will hold shares of two stand-alone, publicly traded companies: Ralcorp and Post Foods.

"The board has been carefully evaluating tax-free separation alternatives for some time," said William Stiritz, chairman of Ralcorp. "We firmly believe the separation of Post Foods from Ralcorp by way of a tax-free spin-off will unlock significant value for our shareholders. As independent companies, both Ralcorp and Post Foods will be better positioned to focus on strategies specific to their particular businesses, thereby improving the opportunities to deliver increasing shareholder value."

In response to Ralcorp’s announcement, ConAgra Foods, which reportedly offered to buy Ralcorp for $4.9 billion, issued the following statement: "We have seen the announcement from Ralcorp and we believe our proposed acquisition of all of Ralcorp continues to be in the best interests of their shareholders."

Upon completion of the separation, Stiritz will serve as chairman of Post Foods and Patrick Mulcahy, who has been appointed vice chairman of Ralcorp, will serve as chairman of Ralcorp. 

The company also announced the following management roles:

  • Dave Skarie, co-CEO and president of Ralcorp, will retire from Ralcorp effective Dec. 31. In the interim period, Skarie will be responsible for leading the separation of Post Foods from Ralcorp.

  • Kevin Hunt, co-CEO and president of Ralcorp, will assume the role of CEO and president of Ralcorp upon completion of the separation.

  • Ron Wilkinson, corporate VP and president of Ralcorp Cereal Products, will continue as corporate VP and president of Ralston Foods and Bloomfield Bakers after the separation. In addition, Wilkinson will work with Skarie on the separation of Post Foods, and he will lead the ongoing transitional relationship between the two companies. After the separation, Wilkinson will report to Hunt.

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Rite Aid sweetens private-label ice cream line with new flavors

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid is launching new flavors of its private-label Thrifty Ice Cream in California stores, the retail pharmacy chain said Wednesday.

The launch comes ahead of National Ice Cream Day on Sunday, which President Ronald Reagan launched in 1984.

“Thrifty Ice Cream has long been a high-quality, affordable ice cream with a loyal fan base with a uniquely Californian history,” said Ron Simmer, general manager of the Thrifty Ice Cream plant in El Monte, Calif. “Rite Aid is proud to unveil the new lineup as the latest in the still-evolving Thrifty tradition.”

The new lineup includes nonfat frozen yogurt available at the hand-dipped ice cream counters in nearly 500 Rite Aid stores in California. New flavors include Apricot and Mango Sherbet, Circus Cookies and, starting in August, Key Lime Cheesecake. 

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PepsiCo Beverages Canada introduces soft drink bottle made from 100% recycled PET plastic

BY Drug Store News Team

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — PepsiCo Beverages Canada has introduced the 7UP EcoGreen bottle, Canada’s — and North America’s — first soft drink bottle made from 100% recycled polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, plastic, the company reported Wednesday.

By introducing the 7UP EcoGreen bottle in Canada, PepsiCo Beverages Canada will reduce the amount of virgin plastic used by approximately 6 million lbs. over the course of one year, the company reported. Studies published by the Association for Post-Consumer Plastic Recyclers in 2010 estimated this reduced use of virgin plastic will lead to a reduction of more than 30% in greenhouse gas emissions and more than 55% in energy use, based on current 7UP production levels.

"After three years of research and development, we have cracked the code to commercially develop a soft drink bottle made from 100% recycled PET plastic, and Canada has proudly led the way," said Richard Glover, president of PepsiCo Beverages Canada. "Consumers want products and packaging that reflects their desire to protect the environment, and PepsiCo is committed to delivering on that with this kind of world-class innovation."

The 7UP EcoGreen bottle will be available across all 7UP and Diet 7UP package sizes beginning in early August, and will look and feel like any other PET plastic soft drink bottle. Although there will be an incremental cost to produce the 7UP EcoGreen bottle, PepsiCo Beverages Canada said it plans to price 7UP beverages on par with other soft drink brands.

The bottle will be produced in multiple PepsiCo manufacturing facilities across Canada. The company invested $1 million in production enhancements in its facilities, including resin handling systems and inspection systems.

PepsiCo Beverages Canada’s long-term plan is to increase the use of bottles made from 100% recycled plastic. 

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