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General Mills Buys Annie's for $820 Million

General Mills - large corporation General Mills - has just put in a $820 million check for that most savory and ethical of supermarket choices, Annie's Homegrown.

Hippies, anti-GMOers, and other health-minded folks everywhere set to wailing and weeping at the news.

Annie's Homegrown already screwed the pooch by putting up some desirable numbers like $204 million in sales last year, a 20% jump from '13. (Can you just feel Wall Street craving something delicious and ethical and good for you?)

Annie's, INC., is a leading producer of branded organic and natural foods. With their purchase, they'll be joining the General Mills family of "natural and organic" brands like Muir Glen, Cascadian Farm, LARABAR and Food Should Taste Good. The signing was announced on September 8 and the acquisition is subject to a regulatory review and to a majority of Annie's Homegrown shareholders agreeing to tender their shares.

According to Jeff Harmening, executive VP and COO for U.S. Retail, General Mills, "Consumers know and trust the Annie's brand. We very much admire the purpose-driven Annie's brand, and the business that Annie's has become. Annie's consumers are passionate about the brand, and we're committed to maintaining the great tasting products that Annie's consumers love and trust."

Annie's Homegrown was founded in 1989 by Annie Withey and Andrew Martin. They originally peddled their delicious mac and cheese at farmer's markets in New England. The brand grew to encompass nourishing, down-to-earth foods that taste great. So much so that they became staples in area supermarkets' frozen foods sections with tasty entrees/meals, snacks as well as condiments, crackers and bars.

General Mills has had Annie's in its sights for a while.

Harmening contends that quality will be maintained, "We're going to continue to maintain the high-quality, great-tasting products that consumers love - made with organic and natural ingredients - and we look to bring Annie's natural and organic products to even more people. That is what this is all about."

Annie's stock (BNNY) was boosted by 37% and only time will tell what the addition will do to General Mills' "snacks and convenient meals" categories on the trade-able indexes. In the end, it's all about profits right?

Oh no, it's about getting the product out to "even more people."

Okay hippie. Whatever.

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Abel Folgar

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