P&G to Divest Pringles to Diamond Foods

$2.35 Billion Deal Gets P&G Out of Food Business

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Procter & Gamble Co. announced today it will divest its Pringles brand to Diamond Foods in a deal valued at $2.35 billion.

The deal ends a series of divestitures over the past 11 years that have gotten P&G out of the food and beverage business -- at least for humans, though the company retains its pet food business including Iams.

"Our plan is to build upon the brand equity Pringles has established in over 140 countries," Michael Mendes, chairman-CEO of Diamond Foods, said in a statement. The deal, still subject to regulatory and shareholder approval, will more than triple Diamond's size in snacks.

Like other divestitures of food and beverage brands, P&G divested Pringles via a tax-advantaged transaction that spins the brand off as a separate company, which then merges with the acquirer.

P&G launched the brand 45 years ago, and while it was on shaky ground with the company at times over the years, it had a resurgence in the 1990s, when sales picked up in the U.S. backed by ads from the former Wells Rich Greene with the "Once You Pop You Can't Stop" ads and rapid global expansion to top $1 billion in annual sales.

Pringles is currently handled by WPP's Grey Global Group, New York, with help from siblings Mediacom, New York, on communications planning and Possible Worldwide, Cincinnati, on digital. Publicis Groupe's Starcom MediaVest Group handles media buying. The brand got $31 million in measured media support last year, according to Kantar Media.

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